November 22nd, 2009
07:47 AM ET
5 years ago

You're as pretty as Palin, Carville tells Matalin


Washington (CNN) – Longtime Clinton ally and Democratic strategist James Carville had some rare words of praise for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. But, ever the good husband, Carville made sure to heap equal praise on his wife, Republican strategist Mary Matalin.

The two were discussing the recent controversial cover of Newsweek magazine, in which Palin is shown in running shorts. Carville said Palin should not complain about the use of a photo which was not a candid shot but one she had originally posed for, even if it were for a publication other than Newsweek. Echoing recent comments by Palin, Matalin disagreed and said she thought the Newsweek cover was sexist.

“You can agree on this,” Matalin asked her husband, “she looked good in it, right?”

“She does,” Carville said without hesitation, “Ain’t no doubt about that. You and her are the two best-looking women in the Republican Party,” the Democrat told his wife.

Related: Carville, Matalin share rare tender moment

But Carville did not have much more positive to say about Palin.


While the Democratic strategist said Palin is “compelling” and connects with her supporters “in an unbelievable way,” Carville also said the former Alaska governor, believed by some political observers to be laying the groundwork for a 2012 White House bid, is not fit to be the nation’s chief executive.

“What I said about Sarah Palin on the day she was nominated [for the number two spot on the Republican presidential ticket last year], is still true. She’s uniquely and supremely unqualified to be president of the United States. But she’s got real presence about her. I find myself wanting to watch her more than I do most other politicians,” Carville told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King as Matalin looked on.

Matalin said Palin was good for the Republican Party as it begins to position itself for the 2010 midterms and the 2012 White House race.

“We’re ascendant in 2010,” Matalin said Sunday, “but we need people who can communicate the framework, the philosophy into which policy prescriptions can be put and [Palin] does that better than almost anybody.”


Filed under: Extra • James Carville • Mary Matalin • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Ken in NC

    I'm sure the Late Night Talk Show Host are all glad Sarah Palin is back. This gives them an unending source of material through 2014.

    November 22, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. mary

    I disagree with James Carville that Palin does it better than almost anybody. She is a pretty face, and she relies on that to get her through. Unfortunately, it takes much more than a pretty face to be President, as Obama is finding out.

    November 22, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    All the quitter has is her looks. In 4-5 years she is going to look like the hag she portrays right now.
    She really doesn't do it better though, as long as the media keeps cramming her down our throats she is going to go nowhere.
    This woman is a nobody who continues to be used for political purposes.
    BTW – all those people waiting in line to pay full price for her fiction book? You can go to Amazon and get the same silly book for $4.95.

    November 22, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Ari

    If only it took simply having good looks to be qualified for the Presidency – we probably would have seen a female president years ago. I liken Sarah Palin to a train wreck – you don't want to look, but you just can't force yourself to turn your head. At the end of the day, it will take more than just engaging the American people to bring about reform in this country's politics.

    I'm not sure that Palin has the nerve to run in 2012, though. I think this book deal and her media prescence is just a way for her to afford the Christian Louboutin shoes she fell in love with during the 2008 campaign. She plays coy simply because it will guarantee interest in her life, thus guaranteeing a paycheck.

    November 22, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. rob

    Would there be any question if the same were done to Hillary Clinton?

    November 22, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Bill

    Carville looks like he's been dead for about 5 years. He really should stay away from commenting on anyone's looks.

    November 22, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Dave, CO

    Who is Carville? Is he qualified to talk about Sarah Palin?

    November 22, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Speider

    Thanks for the breaking news! Now could we get to the world around us and what really matters and effects our lives and future?

    November 22, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. Patrick Fuchs

    How can a photo Palin posed for be considered sexist? She posed for it with full knowledge of what it contained. That is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.

    November 22, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Myron

    Way to think on your feet, Carville. Matalin's question was a classic trap. You'd have heard about it later. :)

    November 22, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    I think wingnuts must want their presidential candidate to reflect the line from the song by Confederate Railroad, "I like my women a little on the trashy side."

    November 22, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Jana in MD

    Any time anyone takes professional photos they need to think. "how will this be used in the future". No one was talking "sexist" when Obabma was photographed with his shirt off while he was on vacation.

    November 22, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Sternberg

    For all the contempt the Democrats want to heap on Palin, they sure are afraid of her popularity.
    Considering that popularity is what appeals most to their chosen base, they may have met someone who knows how to play by their own rules and they have no Plan B.

    November 22, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Robert

    Lord, just imagine what a disaster we'd have on our hands if McCain and Pailn had won. Obama may be having a hard time living up to the "Superman" image the nation projected on him (who wouldn't?) but by any measure, he has been infinitely better than his predecessor. And considering he inherited one of the most disastrous legacies any president ever had to take on, he's been doing a whale of a good job. Ain't it strange how Democrats always seem to have to clean up after Republican economic disasters (Roosevelt, Clinton, now Obama) but Republicans still fantacize that THEY are the party of fiscal responsibility? One of life's enduring comedies...

    November 22, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. D. Tree

    Leave it to Republicans to think a person is qualified because of their looks. Seems like all of them are posing.

    November 22, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Grrr-awful-o

    I'm not against the Palin "shorts" picture. But I think if Democrats (and liberal publications) want to really prove that they're not the party of hypocrasy (and I doubt they'll rise to this challenge) then they should use the "topless" Obama on the beach picture on the cover of a lib mag like Newsweek next time they cover the prez. Hey, if it's not disrectful to Palin then it's not disrepectful to Obama, right? Or are we going to just be hypocritical again? LOL – don't bother answering. I already know the answer.

    November 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. Shecky

    Carville is a smart husband, LOL!
    But as much as I agree with Mary Matalin's politics, I have to say, she has had some AWFUL plastic surgery done on her face. She's starting to look like Joan Rivers! She can hardly move her lips to talk!

    November 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. Michele

    Did she really say that Palin "communicates...better than almost anybody?" Seriously? If what she does with her hate speech and her "poor me" whining is what passes for the Republican communication of issues, Dems will be the majority for a long time. She is as good as anyone about finding fault, but I have yet to hear any constructive policy ideas from her. I know she plans to end abortion forever, she plans to profile Muslims in America to "keep us safe" (sound familiar?) and she would not hesitate for a moment to attack another country, Health care? We don't need change according to Palin, Just buy her book, and on the last 14 pages she'll tell ya all the unfiltered ideas she has. It took a whole 14 pages.

    November 22, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Lee

    Did he (Carville) say the same thing about Hillary Clinton? He said a lot of nonsense...

    November 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. Syla

    I would love to have been a fly in the backseat on that car ride home!

    November 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Penguinn

    There is more to being "beautiful" than just a pretty face.

    November 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Mark

    Wow Carville is still alive??

    November 22, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. Independent

    Carville is right! She is a knockout! He used a good strategy for Clinton
    .."it's the economy, stupid"...remember??? the Repubs can now use that against Obama!!!

    November 22, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Diane

    I like James Carville, he's so funny.

    The Newsweek cover was sexist. Because the pose was cheesecake-y. Palin is many things, but hip is not one of them. She's got some real old-timey ideas and that came thru in the pose. I guess 'old-timey' and 'conservative' coincide. But anyway... the pose was like traditional dumb cheesecake, not cool or edgy at all.

    November 22, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Cary in NC

    Palin is way hotter than Matalin. Of course, bald gourd Carville would have to say that though, otherwise he wouldn't get any lovin' off her.

    November 22, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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