The Carville Trick

The Clinton consultant found a way to win the South for the Democrats--the lottery. But is it fair?

The idea goes back 11 years, to an obscure candidate for Governor of Kentucky named Wallace Wilkinson and his then obscure political consultant, James Carville. Wilkinson was going nowhere, badly trailing his better-known opponents in the Democratic primary. Then, in a debate in Louisville, he proposed instituting a lottery and using the money for education. The next day his wife returned from a day of campaigning and reported that everywhere she went, people told her they loved the idea. Wilkinson went on to win, closing his campaign with a commercial that showed a crowd chanting, "Taxes, no! Lottery, yes!" Carville went...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!