James Carville is headed to Kabul to advise one of Hamid Karzai’s challengers in Afghanistan’s upcoming election, Bloomberg reports. Carville has close ties to Hillary Clinton, but says the move shouldn’t be seen as a sign the Obama administration is pushing for a leadership change. “I don’t think anybody would veto me doing this,” he said. “I’ve worked in Israel when Bill Clinton was president. It’s what I do.”
A State Department spokesman said Carville was a “private citizen,” and didn’t need the department’s approval. Carville will be backing Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s current finance minister, against Hamid Karzai, who came to power thanks largely to US backing in 2001. Currently Ghani is polling at just 2%, in the third slot behind ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, at 7%, and Karzai, at 31%.