The odd couple

James Carville, Mary Matalin

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.

2 thoughts on “The odd couple

  1. Great post! I’ve been fascinated by those two for a long time as well. I’m kind of used to Carville being more animated than Matalin – he’s always reminded me off one of those ankle-biting little dogs. Matalin has also seemed more poised, but that might just be from BOTOX for all I know! 😆

    I do share your hopes for resolving that mess down there soonest! 😐
    LOL! Ankle-biting little dog — you nailed it. And he’s going to growl, and gnaw, and hang on until he gets some satisfaction.

  2. I watched an interview with him on this subject recently as well. It’s supremely disgusting to me that we can’t do more about the situation. We’ve succeeded in polluting one of the best fishing areas in the world, and it may not recover for decades. And, while BP will be forced to pay something for this, will it be enough? I get the impression that they only care about this because they’re being forced to care. Safety, for them, is only a concern when they’re looking at what it’s going to cost them when they’re not safe. If they could get away with having no safety and polluting areas, I think they’d do it. Ergo, the onus for forcing them to be safe is on us, and even then, they can still screw it up. Obviously, we have failed in this regard, despite having failed in the past. We have not learned our lesson yet, and now we’re going to pay for it by losing much of the gulf fishing and the wetlands there.
    They pushed to the limit (and beyond, apparently) what they were allowed to do. And our regulatory agencies allowed (and thereby encouraged) them to do it. Monetary penalties alone obviously aren’t enough anymore; maybe a little prison time for some top execs would make more of an impression.

... and that's my two cents