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.
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.”