John McCaslin

Speaking of James Carville, we were happy to see Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), show up for a recent party at the Democratic operative's town house in Old Town.

After all, the very first pages of the just-released book, "The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution" -- by Naftali Bendavid, deputy bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune -- reveal how Mr. Carville and Mr. Emanuel were at each other's throats during the final stages of the 2006 midterm elections.

Longtime friends, the two were"frequently fighting," Mr. Bendavid writes. "Carville would tell Emanuel that the Democrats would fail -- 'It doesn't look so good out there,' he'd say."

"He's driving me crazy," Mr. Carville admitted to the author. "I'm probably driving him crazy."

When Mr. Carville kept insisting that Mr. Emanuel change the DCCC's campaign strategy, "any tone of camaraderie evaporated," the author states.

"Finally, Emanuel's entire body tensed and he exploded at Carville, 'James -- No, James, you listen. Can you listen for one [expletive] minute?' " Mr. Emanuel shouted. "Undaunted, Carville kept interrupting."

Mr. Bendavid, who had exclusive access to Mr. Emanuel for more than a year leading up the November 2006 elections, says other critics, including Democratic National Committee Chairman

Howard Dean, were "telling Emanuel he had to take their advice or the Democrats would blow their best chance in a generation."

But the feisty congressman, a former Clinton White House aide who, during the campaigning "was unable to get through a single sentence without several obscenities," ignored friends and foes alike. And come Election Day, he delivered Democrats one of their greatest election victories in history -- or what President Bush called "a thumpin.' "

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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