Opinion: Dear Abby: How do Mary Matalin and James Carville stay married without homicide?


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Line 5. Indiana, you’re on the air with Mary Matalin and James Carville.

Like many other viewers over the years, CNN’s John King wondered out loud today about the unlikely political duo. Carville ran Democrat Bill Clinton‘s unlikely and ultimately successful presidential campaign in 1992 while Matalin ran the unsuccessful reelection campaign for George Bush I.

Yet the politically disparate couple seem to remain happily married with their stark disagreements added atop the normal pressures of married life. Are there lessons in there somewhere for those feuding dummies up on Capitol Hill?

So today on the air King finally asked the question on the minds of many (video below).

Here’s the whole brief, enlightening, entertaining and seemingly good-natured exchange from King’s ‘State of the Union’:


King: Our viewers have watched throughout the year. And so you come in here exclusively with us. And they often ask, ‘How can these two disagree so much and get along?’ And so we asked people to text in a question for James and Mary. And here’s what we got from Indiana: ‘Love you both. Can you show both houses of Congress your secret for compromise?’Matalin: Well, we’re not a democracy. We’re an enlightened MOM-archy. That’s what we are. [Cross talk.] Carville: I don’t -- it’s nothing if -- as long as one person is not arguing, there’s nothing to argue about. I don’t have a -- [Laughter.] Carville: I don’t have a position on anything domestically. So I just say yes, and then go on and do it. I mean it. I would say the three ingredients to successful marriage is surrender, capitulation and retreat. If you’ve got those three things -- [Laughter.]Matalin: Spoken like a true liberal. What a martyr. Faith, family and good wine. That’s how we do it.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credits: Top, Getty Images; bottom, Tom Campbell