January 25th, 2010
10:20 AM ET
4 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. Aspen Professor

    Time to get TOUGH Obama! The Republicans will never cooperate until they bring you down. I would try the FDR approach of fireside chats but crank it up a notch and throw the Rebublican lies back in their face.

    January 25, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Paul from Phoenix

    What a joke that after watching unemployment go to 10% (reported), the Obama administration is finally deciding to focus on jobs. They should have realized a pork bill like the stimulus wasn't enough to get people to work.

    Here's an idea...the US has the second highest corporate tax level in the world! People wonder why companies are outsourcing...this is a major reason. Lower the corporate tax rate and incentivise companies to base their operations out of the US.

    January 25, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Greg

    I would care about this except that Carville is still in bed with the Clintons and would love to see Obama fail.

    January 25, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Tim

    Yeah! The bald headed guy is right! Listen to baldy everyone!

    January 25, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Ray E.

    Well,
    Supposedly people voted for change. What change was that? Maybe people will post on here of what change they were looking for.

    If it is the same old social polcies over the last 70 or so years of Tax and Spend then they are getting it. Or maybe they finally saw the light that raising the National Debt, soon to be 14 Trillion is costing them, jobs, jobs, jobs. They WILL pay somewhere, like it or not.

    Yesterday Sam's Club announced they are letting about 14, 000 workers go. What's next?

    January 25, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Texas Jack

    Well lets hope so Carville.

    January 25, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Alex

    The republicans know how to take advantage of our very short memories and also how to stoke outrage. If the democrats want to endure, they need to play the game better.

    January 25, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. larry l

    I'm quite concerned about a possible shift to a one-party, facist system. Our population is too naive and ill-informed to understand the complexities of economics. We may have avoided total failure of the economic system with the stimulus plan, yet the President is blamed for not producing a recovery in a year – an impossible task. The Supreme Court just handed big business a formula for absolute dominance over the electoral process, creating a sort of corporate facism by out-spending any candidate with views contrary to those of oil, insurance, HMOs, etc. The right-wing will flood the airways with swift-boat rhetoric, in volumes impossible to counter with actual citizen dollars. They'll use guns, abortion, prayer, gays, and all of the other hot-button tools to counter candidates trying to place the good of citizens above corporations. In the worst scenario, this may bring about the end of democracy as we know it.

    January 25, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Ron

    When is the administration and Congress going to recognize that most citizens could care less whether there is a "D" or an "R" next to their names. What we want are representatives that tell us the truth, are good stewards of the taxpayer dollars, and their primary goal is the safety of our country rather than the safety of their jobs. This is going to be a telling election for BOTH parties. If you are an incumbent your political life is in danger. We want honest representatives that look after OUR best interest. I ask everyone who reads this post to not look at the "D" or the "R" in the next election but the individual themselves. We MUST get rid of this fungus that seems to be spreading like a wildfire through this administration and Congress.

    January 25, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Debby

    CNN why aren't you reporting about the big contract the Obama administration gave out to a big contributing Dem. without any other bids. I'll tell you the Dems. have hit a new low. What a bunch of scumbags.

    January 25, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. ED FL

    as an 80 yr old straight democratic party line voter I use the word FLOP to describe what President Obama , Senator Reid, and Representative Pelosi have accomplished in this first year. I will not/could not vote for old time politician that have been there over 6 yrs. I will not vote for any GOP that has been there over 6 yrs. That DC is so overloaded with dead wood hanger on politicians that have only their personal interests as their first priority. Their second one is the special interests that gave them the money to get there. Looks like the Massachusettes Independent s showed us the way. Now to get rid of the dead wood that sit in those chairs. Lets do it this year.

    January 25, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Marilyn

    You bet it's going to get worse for this administration! Obama will bankrupt this country if his spending is not curtailed. The American taxpayer is finally catching on to this guy.

    January 25, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    The Democrats will only lose if they get lazy. Massachusetts was a wake-up call, in that regard.

    All the GOP has to offer is fear and more of the tried-and-failed policies. American voters are childishly impatient, so what the Dems need to do is get the word out on the successes of President Obama's policies, as well as reminding people that he inherited a HUGE mess from the Republicans and it will take time to fix.

    January 25, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. Tom

    Nobody in the current congress gives a flip about the American citizens. Throw the selfish, devisive bums out and start over.

    January 25, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    James is a moron,there are no winners in the new improved version of Corpocracy.Be prepared to become the new modern day sharecroppers.You will be given just enough to exist outside the castle walls of the rich.

    January 25, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Jerry

    Obama and his cronies are headed out, apparently the American people noticed he is trying to destroy the country. Four years of democratic majority in congress speaks volumes.

    January 25, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. katiec

    The Democrats deserve some blame for the discontent but believe the majority lies on the millions of dollars spent by big business, lobbyists, special interests in fighting everything and anything that has been presented, promiting negativity, fear and out and out lies.
    We all realize big business is the backer of the party of NOthing and
    will stop at nothing to get their supporters back in power.
    Unfortunately, some people are swayed, give creditibility to the sewer tactics being employed and have short memories about who got
    our country into the mess we have. And, some will support their party regardless of their loss of integrity, honor and sacrificing the American people for their goals of destroy our president, party first and win at any cost.

    January 25, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. SD

    In case he hasn't noticed, the real action isn't in the White House, it's in the streets of America. No matter who is there, Repubthughs, Demo., Independents, they won't be there long. Do you really thing the Repubs. are immune? Guess again. THe problem is neither of them get it right, so they better learn to compromise. Example, this thing about the public option in health care, the only person who looses here is the insurance companies and the republicans know it, but they don't care. They are in their pockets and their message is forget what good for the citizens. Abortion, I am prochoice, but I don't think tax dollars should be used for them. I think a lot of the people are like me, we have reached a midpoint in our ideology that goes with the diverse society we live in.

    January 25, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Luke Brown

    Carville is right.

    Obama is leading the country in the right direction, but he has not mastered the nuances of leadership that give people confidence in what he is doing. President's like Reagan and FDR convincingly offered the country a vision of America that spoke to their values and their hopes ... and that translated into public support for their programs.

    The Dems lost the election in Massachusetts because Coakley looked like more of an out of touch, more-of-the-same liberal than a change agent. In fact, it was Brown who looked like the agent of change.

    January 25, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    And in the California senate race, once Meg Whitman buys a truck and appears nude in a centerfold, she will be elected as well.

    January 25, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. Jim

    You want to re-energize the Dem base? Start by removing Joe Lieberman from all Committe chairs. Then, tell him to go caucus with his real allies. Also, start countering the attacks from the right about this administration and it's policies. For lack of an argument, lies become perceived as truth. Get off your backsides, Dems, and start governing. Or you will miss your opportunity.

    January 25, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. ICARE

    This is not a surprise at all. We all watched him for two years and watch him dog it out with Hillary and McCain. All his weaknesses and strengths were fully displayed right in front of us.

    It's not rocket science we are at this intersection of cluelessness at this point of time.

    God bless America! We desperately need brains....

    Cant wait until all the ELEPHANTS are put back into power and everything comes to a screeching halt, plunging us into not the cliff this time, but the abyss..

    If you love America, stay witht he donkeys..

    January 25, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. scott winter haven

    What do you mean communicate Carville? Obama does nothing BUT read from his teleprompter??? Over 400 speeches in one year! People just don't like him or what he is saying. Americans are waking up to the fact they were SOLD a bill of goods. He is a EMPTY SUIT and now he is going back out to campaign again.

    January 25, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. nick

    If that happens it would be the most infamous day in American history since 12/7/1941 – darkness would spread across the land.

    January 25, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. Ron

    The real backbone to our economy are the ones who have lost there jobs in the last two years.They are the ones we need to pick this economy up. And until we see this and get people back to work our economy will continue to flutter and never pick up steam.How can a housing market pick up without people that are unemployed and do not have the resources to buy a home with a tight credit and no means to pay for it.Let alone put gas in there cars to get to a job.Believe me the democrats are so worried about there own political futures that they are acting like they are frozen in time,Which makes them vunerable to republican take over in November.They need to get back to meat and potatoes policy and get people back to work to sustain a path to fianancial stability for all americans and they should know how to do this since after all they were not elected on there good looks.They are letting the american people down that put them in there position.The voters!

    January 25, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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