James Carville’s Stirring Tribute to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco

Late last month, I brought a small film crew up to Baton Rouge to record LSU Professor James Carville’s first class of the semester, part of a larger project we’re working on together and hope to announce in greater detail in the near future.

At the very end of his class (and for reasons that may or may not be made clear later on), James asked students to stand and listen to a recording of “Amazing Grace.” But before he called class to a close, he had a final message for his new class, which is entirely comprised of juniors and seniors at the Manship School for Mass Communications: This year’s class would be dedicated to the late Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who he had previously told the Bayou Brief was “the most underrated one-term governor in American history.”

Fortunately, our cameras were still rolling, so with James’ permission, we decided to turn this into a standalone clip, which we first shared on social media a week ago.

Watch the man known as the Ragin Cajun explain his deep admiration for Blanco and why he decided to dedicate this year’s class to her:

Lamar White, Jr.: Producer

Ben Collinsworth: Producer

Tim Connor: Sound

Sue Lincoln: Associate Producer

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Lamar White, Jr.
Lamar White, Jr. is an award-winning writer and the publisher and founder of the Bayou Brief, Louisiana’s only statewide news and culture publication. Born and raised on the banks of the Red River in Alexandria, he is a proud product of the Louisiana public education system and a graduate of Rice University in Houston and SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Lamar has been writing about politics and public policy in Louisiana for twenty years, beginning as a weekly youth columnist for his hometown paper, the Town Talk. After earning his undergraduate degree in English and Religious Studies, Lamar moved back to Alexandria, where he launched a popular blogsite, CenLamar, and worked for five years as the Special Assistant to the Mayor. He exposed significant problems with Louisiana’s school voucher program, which resulted in a series of other investigations and ultimately in the removal of several schools from the program. He was the last person to argue online with Andrew Breitbart. He investigated and then broke the report that U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise had once attended a white supremacist conference. He was the first to share a photograph of Bobby Jindal’s portrait in the state Capitol. He exposed U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s incomplete timesheets while the then-representative moonlighted as a physician. He earned headlines in Texas after the gubernatorial campaign of Greg Abbott falsely claimed he had been exploited as a “campaign prop” by Abbott’s opponent, Wendy Davis, and after exposing U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign for relying on online “bot farms” to counter Beto O’Rourke, and he earned headlines in Mississippi after publishing videos of U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith making bizarre comments about public hangings and voter suppression tactics which were both perceived as racist. Lamar was the recipient of the 2011 Ashley Morris Award, given to the writer who best exemplifies the spirit of New Orleans, and in 2019, he was honored as one of Gambit’s Top 40 Under 40 and as the year’s Outstanding Millennial in Journalism at the annual Millennial Awards. He has been the subject of profiles in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Above the Law, and the Advocate and has appeared multiple times as a guest on CNN and MSNBC. Lamar currently lives in New Orleans with his two golden retrievers, Lucy Ana and Ruby Dog.