For years I’ve been fascinated by James Carville (D) and Mary Matalin (R). It’s a love/hate thing really, depending on the issue at hand. They are both so politically active, so high profile, and so outspoken — on opposite sides of the political fence. I surmise theirs is probably not a dull marriage.
They have never been the world’s most beautiful people either, although I’ve started to think of James as “interesting.” My most recent impression of Matalan, when she appeared as a CNN commentator, was that she looked like some kind of weird clown. She desperately needed a new make-up artist.
But in the last week they’ve been together a lot on the Louisiana Gulf coast, surveying the situation and talking with the media. They live in New Orleans and the oil spill is happening in their backyard.
In T-shirts and jeans, with no make-up, they were on the boat with Gov. Jindal, investigating the oil damage. Later, they looked gaunt and tired as they stood together during a conversation with a reporter. Carville is angry. He’s so angry and frustrated he can barely contain it on camera, and while I don’t recommend anyone “lose it” on camera, I think more righteous anger like his needs to be seen. Matalin was the surprise. She was more subdued and in fact was crying — vulnerable and hurting over the catastrophe befalling her beloved state.
The two never looked more like a team, more committed to each other, or more vulnerable and human than they did today. She wiped her tears as James spoke, and reached over to pat his shoulder reassuringly.
I hope for them, for all of us, that we wake up tomorrow to find BP’s “top kill” effort has succeeded in shutting down the well.