Democratic political operative James Carville, chief architect of Bill Clinton’s presidential election, gave an interview recently to the online news site Vox on the election of Joe Biden, and the current state of the Democratic Party. He praised President Biden (“It’s very difficult to find something to complain about.”). And he offered advice and criticism to the Democratic Party for their overall poor results (other than winning the presidency) in the last election (“We won the White House against a world-historical buffoon. And we came within 42,000 votes of losing.”). What “Jewish-referenced” comment did Carville offer?
A. Speaking of the division between Republicans and Democrats over the last few administrations, Carville said, “Not every problem is intractable, like the Israeli/Palestinian issue, chas v’chalila. Most issues really do have points of compromise. We just need politicians who are willing to compromise.”
B. Said Carville, who was an advisor to Ehud Barak in the 1999 Israeli elections, “Do I think anything is possible in politics? Hey. I'm the guy who helped Ehud Barak defeat Bibi Netanyahu for prime minister in 1999. I haven’t seen anybody else doing that lately, even with that guy under indictment. Guess you could say I’m a goy with a yiddishe kop!”
C. Referencing the way that politicians communicate, using too much “jargon-y language,” Carville said that political speech needs to be more accessible. He went on to say, “I always tell people that we’ve got to stop speaking Hebrew and start speaking Yiddish. We have to speak the way regular people speak, the way voters speak.”
D. Regarding his general philosophy about political work, Carville said, “Coming from Louisiana, I always say that we have to view American politics like red beans and rice. You have to take your time to get where you’re going. Put the beans in a pot, put it on the stove on low, and give it most of the day. Don’t rush it. If you’re patient, you’ll end up with a simple but delicious feast. I told this story once when signing books in New York and this lady said to me, ‘That’s just what my Bubby always said to me. Be patient. But she talked about her cholent sitting on the stove overnight’.”
E. Carville married Mary Matalin in 1993. She was a Republican political consultant and operative, having worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, as well as Vice President Dick Cheney. Said Carville, “People ask me all the time how I could marry Mary? I have no idea (well, really, I have no idea why she would marry me). But knowing that we made our marriage work is what gave me the chutzpah to push President Clinton to get Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat to shake hands at Camp David.”