JAMES CARVILLE has been described as a grandmaster at the chessboard of politics by at least one historian. With Paul Begala, Carville set the communications strategy for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential victory. Born in Carville, Louisiana—a town named for his grandfather—and famed for his blunt, hard-driving style, the “Ragin’ Cajun” is credited with focusing the Clinton campaign's easy-to-understand expression of its political priorities.

Carville's first campaign work occurred while he was still a student at Ascension Catholic High School in 1959. He worked on a Louisiana state legislature race, distributing literature and posting signs for candidate Price LeBlanc. In 1962, Carville graduated from high school and began college at Louisiana State University (LSU). He left after a couple of years and joined the U.S. Marines. ...

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