January 25th, 2010
10:20 AM ET
8 years ago

Carville: Democrats risk losing House majority

James Carville said the White House has some work to do.

James Carville said the White House has some work to do.

Washington (CNN) - Democratic strategist James Carville said Monday that Democrats will "have a rough 2010" unless the White House does a better job communicating its message about the economy.

Carville said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that President Obama hasn't done a good enough job explaining to the American people "a coherent strategy" for fixing the economy and creating jobs. The president's strategy, he said, seems "very, very ad hoc."

Democrats risk losing their majority in the House this November if they don't figure something out, Carville said.

"You have to think that unless something is done to change direction, I think everything is at risk," he predicted. But Carville said he doesn't think that scenario will come to pass.

He said the White House's decision to bring former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe into their everyday political operation suggests that the White House is serious about repairing an image that was seriously damaged by last week's special election in Massachusetts.

"You got to look at this thing in Massachusetts, and think that's a real signal here," he said. "If you don't deal with it, it's going to get worse."

Filed under: 2010 • James Carville • President Obama
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. TCM

    Hey Carville, they HAVE communicated their "ideas," about the economy....and the TRUE Americans don't want anymore of this Obama crap....Come back to reality

    January 25, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Beasley

    Is a Democratic strategist saying that Scott Brown's victory is a wake-up call? Did he just wake up himself?

    I think it's time the Democrats realized one simple thing – they won in 2008 because George Bush did a terrible job, and people wanted nothing more to do with that. People did not vote FOR Obama/Pelosi, they voted against Bush/Cheney and, by association, McCain/Palin.

    Now, Scott Brown has won for the same reason – Obama and Company are doing a poor job, and they're trying to force the country down a path it doesn't like.

    January 25, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. pa. independent

    Dem or Rep, nothing will get done. We need a third party.

    January 25, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Black Viper

    Give me one good reason to vote for a Republican?
    I went back to my abusive ex husband who broke my arm and raped me for 8 years because somebody told me my new husband is cheating on me.
    This tells you a lot about this country

    January 25, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. One of the few smart Democrats.......

    time to drop the socialist "redistribution of wealth" ideas and get to work on the economy........

    January 25, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Walter J Smith

    Well, maybe the image maintenance master is correct. Maybe the image of an Obama too aloof to actually say what he wants in health care reform, rather than let the truth travel all over the internet about what he actually did for health care reform (play money footsies with PhRMA, etc.), and let speculation and gossip define the Obama he really is, the action Obama, is the only problem. Just rhetorically sting like a bee those bad guys on Wall Street, who, at Obama's demand, are writing the Financial Industry Reform legislation, the way PhRMA wrote the pharmaceutical part of the so called Health Care Reform legislation, and so on, ad nauseum, maybe rhetorical change was the only change anybody ever wanted, and that is all we will get, so just fix the image and forget the reality.

    Action may speak louder than words everywhere outside the beltway. But inside the beltway, there is nothing but words in exchange for dollars, and that is not going to change on Obama's watch. He gets more re-election dollars for his world class professional hypocrisy, or schizophrenia, depending, of course, upon your perspective.


    January 25, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. kd

    If republicans return, we're doomed. They screwed us big time and are the reason we're in such a mess right now.

    January 25, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. TJJ

    You know, I've realized that the problem in this country is with the voters much more than with the politicians. To say there is a dearth of knowledge and understanding about policy would be the understatement of the decade. Just look at the insanity of this supposed right-wing "populism" (which in itself is a warped, fantasy land farce). None of your positions make ANY sense, yet you're voting for Republicans supposedly to protect social programs engineered by Democrats, supposedly to get rid of social programs (spending), but not the ones that you want, and it never even occurs to your mind that they are actually social programs whose very existence relies on taxes and spending (the money paid into it by people is not nearly enough to cover the benefits that they demand and expect). I mean, this whole thing is beyond ridiculous. You say cut spending, which is nonsense, because the only meaningful way to cut spending is to cut Social Security and Medicare because they make up the VAST majority of the GOVERNMENT spending, yet you people are at town halls ranting and screaming about how they better not touch your Social Security and Medicare, which you don't even realize are government programs, neither of which you would have if it wasn't for Democrats. I fear that this country is going down hill. People are mad at politicians when they need to be mad at themselves for their own absolutely incongrous ridiculousness.

    January 25, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. File under "Sarcasm"

    The story actually hits the nail on the head. The Democrats are more worried about the White House doing a better job "communicating its message about the economy" than actually fixing the economy.

    That's what the Campaigner-in-Chief will trot out in an angry State of the Union Speech denouncing the evil banks, insurance companies, Republicans, special interests, etc. who he is "fighting" on our behalf so he can spend our money on health care, global warming, closing Gitmo, trying KSM in NY, and so on and so forth. Oh, and don't forget all those jobs he's saved with the billions of our dollars he spent on the "stimulus" bill.

    January 25, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    Well, let's be honest. The Dems have been in control now, for 3 full years....and what do they have to show for it??????

    Maybe it won't be such a bad thing, to replace them.

    January 25, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. John independent from NY

    The day Obama was elected I said to others that move #1 should be to remove Pelosi from her post. He failed to do this and the extreme academic, no commonsense types have run amok. The country needed health care reform and these bozos totally blew it. Nothing within that bill is useful. They have made numerous other stupid blunders. They all need to be replaced.

    January 25, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. stevegee

    Obama and the progressives are doubling down on their attempt to turn our country into a Socialist utopia. And they're bringing in more propaganda horsepower to help Robert Fibbs.

    But it won't matter. The American people have awakened from the "change"-induced coma. We now know these "Democrats" are really Marxists.

    Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts were just the beginning of a conservative tsunami. Can't wait till November - it'll be game over for the liberals!

    January 25, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. D.

    But the house and the president will continue to assume no fault and that they will fight for us. It is time to reduce slogan spreading and work for us!

    January 25, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Gale

    If the Democrats ever want to succeed again, they need to get rid of the pompous, "let them eat cake" queen of botox, Nancy Pelosi!! NOW

    January 25, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. tag

    lets hope carville's prediction comes true.....america is ready for a change and it isn't the obama change. november will be interesting....

    January 25, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Erasmus

    Is anyone sure that this guy has not been planted here by aliens?

    January 25, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. Dennis

    The damage has been done, Too many lies and NOBODY can trust this corrupt administration, They even look corrupt!!!~

    January 25, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. NYCitizen

    I think we should vote them all out!

    January 25, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Chas in Iowa

    I believe that what happened with the vote in Mass was that the republican voters voted Brown. I believe that the far left voters that were disgusted with the "health care reform" bill (because it lacked a public option) also voted for Brown to stop the bill.
    For the GOP to take this as a signal that their message is getting out is an overstatement at the very least.

    January 25, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. archangel4

    You think?Lets see, the tea parties didn't do it.The town halls didn't do it.The previous elections didn't either.But the senate seat in Mass. did.However, I don't think the Presidents message will be as moving as you wish. The money moving from here to there, still has the people's attention. Its not always what gets done that matters. But how it gets done, will always matter.This is where the parties problems lie.Its how they are passing their legislation that has, and will, be their downfall.And if that doesn't change, I don't care if pure honey comes out of this man's mouth.It won't change a thing.

    January 25, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Caleb

    Agree. If the Dems will not do something concrete and prove that its actions and initiatives has brought a decent level of good to the American people, then the winds will change in 2010 when the world over is demanding for some real and not just rhetorical form of change.

    January 25, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Mary in NV

    Obama's statements about fighting and taking lumps just say to me: he is fighting against the 64% of Americans that don't like his hurried health care. So who is he fighting with? US! That, and his quick hiring of a campaign guy says all he cares about is his image, not that he is doing anything about jobs. All he knows how to do is talk and promise stuff he can't deliver. Yes, Carville, the DIMS are in trouble when they only worry about themselves, backroom deals, paying for votes.

    January 25, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Dave

    The Republicans had their chance already... 8 years of it. And they got us into the mess that Obama is trying to get us out of.

    I don't think the Dems are doing a great job, they definitely need to improve, but they've still got a long way to go before they do as bad a job as the Republicans did. I'm not even tempted to vote Republican, despite dissatisfaction with Democrats.

    January 25, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. maine liberal


    What is the "coherent strategy" or message from the Republicans other than NO. I fail to see any reason to vote Republican. I fear that the loss may come from those not voting. The dems need to get spine
    and return to the change that was promised.

    January 25, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. ralph

    The Democratic party sold out the average American with sweetheart back room deals and great hardship for seniors in the Senate health care "reform" plan, and they should all be thrown out of office as a result. Wall street was "saved' but seniors have their social security benefits taxed...can you imagine that? The Dems are no longer the party of the people but in the pocket of Wall street. time for an Independent revolt.

    January 25, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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