Flashback: Minutes before 9/11 attacks, Carville said he hoped Bush wouldn’t succeed
posted at 2:40 pm on March 11, 2009 by Allahpundit
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes before learning of the terrorist attacks on America, Democratic strategist James Carville was hoping for President Bush to fail, telling a group of Washington reporters: “I certainly hope he doesn’t succeed.”…
Minutes later, as news of the terrorist attacks reached the hotel conference room where the Democrats were having breakfast with the reporters, Carville announced: “Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!”
The press followed Carville’s orders, never reporting his or Greenberg’s desire for Bush to fail. The omission was understandable at first, as reporters were consumed with chronicling the new war on terror. But months and even years later, the mainstream media chose to never resurrect those controversial sentiments, voiced by the Democratic Party’s top strategists, that Bush should fail…
“The difference between Carville and his ilk and me is that I care about what happens to my country,” Limbaugh told Fox on Wednesday. “I am not saying what I say for political advantage. I oppose actions, such as Obama’s socialist agenda, that hurt my country.
Two potential points of distinction for the left here. One is that Carville changed his mind instantly once the country shifted to a crisis footing whereas Rush keeps hoping for failure even as the economy disintegrates. Is that really the point liberals have been making in attacking him, though — that it’s A-OK to root for the president to cock things up so long as nothing really important’s at stake? Watch those goalposts move! (Subsidiary question: Did Carville really instantly change his mind or, rather, did he instantly realize that it was no longer politically safe to wish aloud for the president’s failure?) The second point is the one Patterico hits on in this post, i.e. the difference between hoping Obama fails at implementing his agenda and hoping that his agenda fails after it’s implemented. Hard to tell from the tiny bit quoted in the Fox piece which was true in Carville’s case vis-a-vis Bush. Given that we were already more than seven months into his term at the time, it’s safe to say he wasn’t speaking wholly prospectively.
I wish I could promise you video when he’s asked about this, but since he’s a CNN contributor he probably won’t be asked about it. Quick, someone send up the bat signal for Jason Mattera.