August 25th, 2008
11:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Carville: Dems wasting first night

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Carville says the Democrats are hiding the party's message."](CNN) - Have the Democrats wasted the first night of the convention?

Yes, says Democratic Strategist and CNN contributor James Carville.

Speaking on CNN, Carville said the party was too soft in its attacks on John McCain Monday night - the same mistake, Carville says, Democrats made at the 2004 convention.

"The way they planned it tonight was supposed to be sort of the personal - Michelle Obama will talk about Barack Obama personally, Ted Kennedy was a very personal, emotional speech," Carville said. "But I guarantee on the first night of the Republican Convention, you're going to hear talk about Barack Obama, commander-in-chief, tax cuts, et cetera, et cetera."

"You haven't heard about Iraq or John McCain or George W. Bush - I haven't heard any of this. We are a country that is in a borderline recession, we are an 80 percent wrong-track country. Health care, energy - I haven't heard anything about gas prices," Carville also says. "Maybe we are going to look better Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. But right now, we're playing hide the message."

Carville also said the party needs to do a better job of communicating its message to the American people.

“If this party has a message it's done a hell of a job hiding it tonight, I promise you that," he said.

soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. TC in Denver

    So when has Carville had anything good to say since his candidate lost the primary?

    At least he had three sentences that didn't include a reference to what's her name.


    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. Josh

    CNN=McCain lovers

    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  3. jeff kempf

    I thought the convention went well tonight. We are a civilized people, not pit bulls. Let us have one night of good, and not just attacks.

    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  4. Richie

    Isn't that the point? That Democrats are different from Republicans?

    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  5. Your Mentality

    Carvillie, your mentality is the reason why Obama did not consult your kind.

    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. Mary Garlick

    I've had my fill of Bush, McCain, Iraq, etc, etc, etc. Enjoyed the happy, uplifting feeling of unity and joy.

    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  7. Lance

    I for one am OK with the negativity. Living in the swing state of CO, I am already tired of all of the negative TV adds. So one night without it is a nice breather.

    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  8. linda

    Michelle was a bomb; basic rule of public speaking for a woman – no "wardrobe malfunctions"!!!

    And then the idiot woman commentator that inferred that John McCain would "turn back women's rights".....????

    And this is from a professional woman, who can no longer say I vote Democrat.


    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. Jen Ford

    The dems did it just right – this is about getting our country back together – not about splitting us apart.

    Jen Ford – Philadelphia

    August 25, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  10. Linda Willoughby

    Jim, you just don't get it. This is a season of is not about attacking the issues of the day, or about BUSH. We get enough of the
    on a daily basis.

    Tonight was a time for celebration and getting to know the candidate.

    Giive tomorrow a chance...the attack dogs are lying in wait.

    August 25, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  11. ABBY

    Carville, are you crazy? it was a beautiful night. The negative stuff that you are itching for will come later, Mr. Mary Matelin.

    August 25, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  12. Scott L

    It is so awesome to watch the Democratic party disintegrate in front of their very eyes. Too bad you guys made such a terrible mistake by anointing BHO as your nominee. Here I was hoping that my man McCain would actually get some competition! Biden is a joke..

    And don't forget people, I actually voted for Kerry in 2004 if you can believe it. But Democrats have got some serious problems and McCain is more to the middle like me! 😀 A lot better than Bush that's for sure...but to Bush's credit, he isn't swayed by polls like BHO and while the Dems are partying it up, he is dealing with big boy problems such as Russia and the news that came out tonight about their new resolution recognizing south ossetia as an independent state....not good.

    Good luck Dems!!!! Suckers!!!!

    August 25, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  13. Michael

    James, when does Biden speak? I'm sure he'll have plenty of words for and about John McCain and the trash-can political brand that is the republican party.

    And who cares what the republicans have to say? Last time I checked, most of America was more than a little displeased with the direction the GOP has sent us on.

    August 25, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. sjp

    pretty easy to figure this convention out. 1st. play good cop and get sentimental. 2nd. let hill and bill go out gracefully while setting the table. 3rd. biden time to rev up the crowd and show his bad cop side and finally obama comes out swinging and engages his vision and sets the tone for the final few months. obama has been throwing jabs so far while mccain has tried to land a few haymakers, i think this campaign turns this week as the dems start going more for a knockout.

    August 25, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  15. Bonnie Richard

    I don't know what you want! Is it so bad NOT to be negative????? Personally, I cannot stand negative politics. I am proud, very proud of our Democratic convention so far – no slamming. And, as to nothing going on, if you announcers would shut up and turn the cameras to the speakers, we could see more of the convention. We don't need your constant rhetoric. We want to see and hear whoever is speaking.

    That's my thoughts.
    Mrs. Richard
    Leawood, KS

    August 25, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  16. K

    This convention so far has been a huge yawn.

    August 25, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. Antonio

    I expect the attacks on the second night...

    August 25, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  18. Alex

    Carville jumped the shark in 1996 and has been crawling back ever since.

    August 25, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  19. Linda31

    Carville needs to go somewhere. Was he not listening to Pelosi talk about McCain being on the wrong side of the issues? McCaskill talking about McCain. What has he been listening to????

    August 25, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. Mark Gilley

    Are you kidding with this criticism of the first night of the Democratic Convention? When the Obama campaign takes the high road as they did tonight the media–including CNN–says he is too soft and doesn't understand politics. When he goes after McCain the media–including CNN–says he is abandoning his pledge for a new kind of campaign. Maybe the press should try to live up to the standards you have set for Obama. Or maybe you should give up your love affair for the new John McCain–or as my family calls him "McNasty McBush".

    August 25, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  21. Colleen Ancrile

    I actually think we need to be who we are as Democrats. That was what was put forth this evening and it was important to show the candidate as a man of the people. The theme of the night being the American Dream which over the past eight years has become more of the American Fairy tale. The Republicans will spend all their energy and air time to show the weaknesses of the Democratic Candidate, but we know the truth the Obama/Biden Ticket is strong and determined and the people of our country want and need the change that will come with not only Obama and Biden but also with Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and all of those who have raised the bar and fought hard for all people not just those few elite.

    August 25, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  22. arsey

    Once again James Carville has proved that he is interviewing for a fox news position!

    August 25, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  23. Deji

    How cynical have you become, so much so that in all that has happened tonight what you find to take away from it is the negative ... that they did not go negative enough.

    August 25, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  24. jeanne hunsaker

    The Obama's are the epitomy of an incredibly strong family unit – the lack of which is a huge problem in today's America. This is the kind of representation we need in the global community!

    August 25, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. Perrell Bess

    I dont think people really care what carville really think at this point. I think that the first night was a great night and that we are trying to bring the country together not tear it apart. we can state our differences without tearing the opposing side apart. carville time was in the 90s and now its Obama time and time for the clintons to step aside and allow the next generation of people to take the lead.

    August 25, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
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