The Blunt Knife: Telling it like it is, James Carville sees his 60 Tulane students as a vehicle for change and long-lasting legacy

This article was published in The Tulane Hullabaloo on June 7, 2011.

Ted Jackson, The Times-Picayune

With a loud thump, James Carville plops his Nike sneakers up on his desk, leans back in his armchair, and rests his head in clasped hands. Clad in jeans and a black T-shirt, the 66-year-old CNN political pundit appears relaxed and content. His casual manner belies the hectic schedule that has just whisked him from Washington to New Orleans, where he’ll give a lecture tonight and eat dinner with his family, before flying out tomorrow to New York. This free hour between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. each Tuesday evening  —  just before he teaches his political science class at Tulane University — is one he cherishes all week. For this sole hour, he gets to hang out with a few of his students, his personal assistant, his teaching assistant, and the week’s guest speaker, who, in the class’s three-year history, has been anyone from prominent Republican Newt Gingrich to liberal columnist Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine. As they casually dissect the politics of the day, Carville’s grating Southern drawl, authoritative and commanding, collides in the air with the 20-year-olds’ high-pitched admiring laughter.

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