November 22nd, 2009
07:47 AM ET
13 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. Bob

    This is not worthy of coverage in the political ticker.

    November 22, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Marc Taylor

    Mary, If James were to read your post, there would be trouble in the Carville home tonight. Mary Matalin praised Palin, not James!

    November 22, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Gonzo in Houston

    There is something amazing here. Palin is utterly unqualified for anything, but more compelling than anyone in politics. Even people who can't stand her will read any article about her. Right now she's more of a celebrity than a politician, and in that uniquely American fashion, she's becoming famous for being famous.

    H. Ross Perot put Bill Clinton in the White house in 1992. Ralph Nader put GWB in the White house in 2000. And if Sarah gets involved in the 2012 race, she will put Obama back in for a second term.

    November 22, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Terrence Curran

    This gentleman needs to have the prescription strength of his glasses checked. They are obviously causing him to not see clearly.

    November 22, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. John


    November 22, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Eileen

    Palin has more qualifications than Obama does to be president. Time to raise the bar altogether.

    November 22, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. juge

    I don't think there is a republican, male or female, who is good looking. There is something in their faces that is cold and dismissive.

    November 22, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    ew to all 3 of them

    November 22, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. I'm a Liberal-You got a problem with that?

    If Palin had Matalin's brains, THEN I'd be worried.

    November 22, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. HF

    Sarah Palin is history, I don't understand why still these guys are still talking about her. I don't think the majority of the American's are that dumb to eclect her to the highest office in the USA.

    November 22, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. Wise Latina

    This Carville guy still around? I thought he was on yesterday's ash heap...

    November 22, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    “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.”

    No kidding:

    “I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead." ~ Sarah Palin

    November 22, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. branecia

    He really must be in dream world, looks donot make the woman,& neither makes the team- speaking of pretty faces no one there is pretty their are no pretty women in the republican party- their are nice attractive women but not pretty ones in either party, so looks are not important enough for sarah palin to be anything but a lier and a nut case she needs to read the policys and learn her way around politics this is not Alaska, and she cannot see Washington from her house.

    November 22, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Adam from Pittsburgh

    James Carville is a very bright guy... and a loyal husband. Enough said.

    November 22, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Len

    I agree with much of what is said about her, both in criticism and support. As a fellow American, I welcome her support for this country, but not her leadership.

    November 22, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Real Virginian

    Palin will be the next President if Obama can't understand that we do not want health care now in form of a massive spending bill. Plain is very pretty women.

    November 22, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. tarheel

    It's easy to find a pretty face. Hollywood is full of them. Sarah Palin has the whole package though. While she is OK in the looks department, it's her political savvy that is her true strength. She is rock solid in her conservative beliefs and does not hold back in attacking others, including those in her own party, who think differently. In addition, her group of followers, although not as large yet as Obama's, are just as rabid in their devotion to her. But that's just half her strength. The other half is the pure hatred that rises up in her detractors at the very mention of name. No other Republican hopefuls have this kind of power over the Democrats. Certainly not Mitt Romney,Mike Huckabee, or Bobby Jindal. Again, Sarah Palin's strength is the passion and raw emotions, good or bad, that she brings out of both Democrats and Republicans.

    November 22, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. Progressive

    There is much fortune to be made in our society for sounding off in a disagreable fashion, and these two are taking us for a spin all the way to a bank near you.

    November 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Tammy

    Can't believe that a smart woman like Matalin can be so obtuse when it comes to Palin. There IS NO "framework or philosophy" that Palin can "do better" - she wouldn't even know what those words mean! There is nothing in that head other than hubris (another word she would not know)

    November 22, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Dianne Brown

    I just read a local review of her book, it sounds as if there isn't anything in it that we havent already been told, not that I would be interested in reading it anyway. She puts herself in the position of being made fun of.

    November 22, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. B. Selway

    James, James,James, your wife may be as attractive as Palin, but of much more substance. If Mary were running it would worry me much more than Palin, but I think to do justice Obama will have to run two terms, after all it took the previous lot that long to screw it up.

    November 22, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  22. ann

    How can a lovely, sophisticated woman of Mary Matalin's stature stand to be married to such a creepy, narrowminded, hateful character. He is so freaky and she is so smart and pretty and seemingly sweet natured.

    November 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. John in Tampa

    Sarah Palin does not have 'presence.' She is creepy at best.

    November 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Rich

    Pity McCain, who opened Pandora's Political Palin Box on the unsuspecting public. She's merely a doll - pull the string and she spouts simplistic, cliche rightwing blather. All plastic style, absolutely no policy substance. Amazing how people are drawn to this vacuous creature. Even Matalin carefully used the word "framework" in describing how Palin communicates her philosophy.

    November 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. Frozen

    And this is news because ...?

    November 22, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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