See Ya Later, Serpenthead. You too, Begala.

carville_begala.jpgI’ve decided I’m basically agnostic in the Democratic primary. Both Clinton and Obama are attractive candidates for different reasons, and while I have my preference for one over the other, I’d be satisfied with either. Still, whether you’re a Clintonite or Obamaphile, this is unquestionably good news:

I’ve just learned that CNN has told top Dem strategists James Carville, Paul Begala, and Robert Zimmerman — who are CNN mainstays but are all Hillary supporters — that they will not be doing any more political analysis on the network until the Democratic primary has reached a conclusion.

I’m also told that this move came after the Obama campaign repeatedly complained to high level officials at CNN about the presence of Carville and Begala on the network.

After I reached him today and pointed out that he hadn’t been on CNN in some time, Carville confirmed to me that the network had told him that he wouldn’t appear until the Dem primary is resolved.

Sam Feist, CNN’s political director, also confirmed the decision to me. “As we got closer to the voting, we made a decision to make sure that all the analysts that are on are non-aligned,” Feist said, adding that the decision had been made around the start of December. “Carville and Begala are two of the best analysts around and we look forward to seeing them on CNN plenty of times in the future, once the nominating process has ended.”

Exactly as it should be. If you want to have Carville or Begala on as representatives of Clinton, that’s fine. But to have them on as “impartial” pundits even as they have a deep and vested interest in Hillary Clinton’s candidacy makes a mockery of the entire concept of impartiality. No, it wouldn’t be the first time, but still, this is a step in the right direction.

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