Political strategists James Carville and Stanley Greenberg sit down for a conversation with attendees of the Monitor Breakfast to discuss what the election results mean for the Democratic party, the impact of the Tea Party, and the 2012 presidential elections.
James Carville's winning streak began in 1986, when he managed the gubernatorial victory of Robert Casey in Pennsylvania. A loser in three previous attempts (dubbed the Three-Time-Loss from Holy Cross by the media), Casey -- with Carville's guidance -- was able to defeat popular Lieutenant Governor William Scranton, Jr. in a remarkable come-from-behind win. In 1987, Carville helped Wallace Wilkinson -- a candidate with less than 1 percent of the vote in early polls -- win a hard-fought gubernatorial campaign in Kentucky.
The following year brought Carville to New Jersey, where he guided Frank Lautenberg's campaign for U.S. Senate to victory, defeating Rhodes Scholar and Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins. Carville next managed the successful 1990 gubernatorial campaign of Georgia's Lt. Governor, Zell Miller, including a tough primary win over Atlanta mayor Andrew Young.
In 1991, Carville -- who had already become prominent in political circles -- drew national attention when he managed Senator Harris Wofford from 40 points behind in the polls to an upset landslide over former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. With the startling and unpredictable win, Carville had exposed the political vulnerability of George Bush, who had been enjoying a 91 percent approval ratings during the Gulf War.
Having wounded the sitting President in 1991, Carville finished the job the following year, when he guided William Jefferson Clinton to the Presidency in 1992. Carville was honored as Campaign Manager of the Year by the American Association of Political Consultants for his leadership of Clinton's fearsome and intense "War Room" at campaign headquarters in Little Rock. Carville was also the focus, along with George Stephanopoulos, of the feature-length Academy Award nominated documentary The War Room.
After the Clinton victory, Carville began to focus on foreign consulting. In 1999, Carville led Ehud Barak to Victory in his campaign to become Prime Minister of Israel. James Carville is also an author, speaker, restaurateur, and talk show host. He can be seen in television commercials and movies.
David Cook is Senior Editor and Washington bureau chief of The Christian Science Monitor. He oversees the Monitor's 9-person bureau in the nation's capital, hosts the Monitor's newsmaker breakfasts, and writes for csmonitor.com.
For over 40 years, Monitor breakfasts have brought journalists together with key public officials to talk about the issues of the day in a candid, in-depth fashion. Since their start in 1966, four US presidents, five vice presidents, and countless cabinet and congressional officials have been guests at the 3,600 breakfasts the Monitor has hosted.
When Monitor correspondent Jill Carroll was held captive in Iraq for 82 days in 2006, Cook served as the Monitor's spokesperson and appeared on numerous national broadcasts including "Today," "Nightline," "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," and "ABC World News Tonight."
From August 1994 through July 2001, Cook served as editor of The Christian Science Monitor. During his term, the Monitor's print edition was redesigned, csmonitor.com was launched, and the paper won numerous awards including the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting.
Previously Cook was editor of Monitor Broadcasting which produced daily radio news programs heard on 200 public radio stations. He also served as managing editor of the Monitor's Emmy award-winning nightly television news program "World Monitor."
His current assignment is Cook's third tour in Washington. During two previous postings in the nation's capital he covered economic policy. He also has been a Detroit-based correspondent for Business Week.
Cook was awarded a Bagehot Fellowship in Business and Economic Journalism by Columbia University. He is a graduate of Principia College, attended the Advanced Management Program at Michigan State University, and served in the U.S. Army. He is a member of the Gridiron Club, Washington's oldest journalistic organization, and the father of three grown sons.
Dr. Stan Greenberg
Stan Greenberg has served as polling advisor to presidents and prime ministers, CEOs, and dozens of campaigns in the U.S. and around the world. His political clients have included President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and South Africa President Nelson
Mandela, and his corporate clients include Boeing, Microsoft, and other global companies. He also conducts the bi-partisan polls for NPR, The Los Angeles Times, and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Dr. Greenberg was inducted into the American Association of Political Consultants’ Hall of Fame, and has been described as “the father of modern polling techniques.” He is the author of The Two Americas and Middle Class Dreams, which put the spotlight on “Reagan Democrats.” Those insights made him the principal polling advisor to the Democratic Leadership Council during the formative years of change for the Democratic Party between 1988 and 1994.
Dr. Greenberg founded his research firm in 1980 after a decade of teaching at Yale University where he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was educated at Miami University and Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D.
Political strategists James Carville and Stanley Greenberg weigh in on which candidate is the most viable contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. Carville calls Republican Party politician Mitt Romney the "designated old white guy."
Democratic pollster and political strategist Stanley Greenberg advises President Obama to acknowledge his mistakes and hit the reset button. "Voters actually are pretty forgiving on leaders who indicate that they've learned something," says Greenberg. "There is still a large majority here who want Obama to succeed."