James Carville, one of America's best-known political commentators and a leading citizen in the revitalization of post-Katrina New Orleans, delivered Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Commencement address in 2013.
With a history of impressive electoral victories at the local and state level, Carville was the lead strategist for the successful election in 1992 of William Jefferson Clinton as the 42nd president of the United States. The next year, he married Republican strategist Mary Matalin who worked on the campaign of incumbent George H.W. Bush. Their cross-aisle marriage has resulted in more than two decades of political commentary on every major television network and news organization, informing Americans across the political spectrum. Their book All's Fair: Love, War and Running for President became a national bestseller.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Carville and Matalin relocated their family from the Washington, D.C. beltway to Carville's home state of Louisiana where they have been vocal supporters of the renaissance of New Orleans. Together, they have taken part in a range of environmental, educational, economic and cultural projects in support of the Gulf Coast. They have embraced such causes as The Idea Village, Teach for America, Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program in New Orleans, Boys Hope/Girls Hope, Women of the Storm, the Loyola Institute of Politics and others. Described by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as "wonderful ambassadors and great friends of the city," Carville and Matalin recently co-chaired the Super Bowl Host Committee.
The former co-host of CNN's Crossfire and Sirius XM radio's 60/20 Sports with Luke Russert, Carville is the author of a number of books including, most recently, It's the Middle Class, Stupid! with pollster Stan Greenberg. Carville and Greenberg also co-founded Democracy Corps, an independent, non-profit polling organization dedicated to making government more responsive to the American people. Carville has provided consultation to campaigns in more than 20 countries and teaches political science at Tulane University in New Orleans. Often referred to as the "Ragin' Cajun" for his animated and colorful debating style and his roots in Louisiana, Carville began managing political campaigns in 1982. Before entering politics, he worked as a litigator at a Baton Rouge, La., law firm, was a U.S. Marine, and taught high school. He received his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees from Louisiana State University.