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Margaret Carlson
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Margaret Carlson is a panelist on CNN's The Capital Gang, which also features Robert Novak, Mark Shields, Kate O'Beirne and Al Hunt. She joined the 30-minute program on the eve of its fifth anniversary in October 1993.


Additionally, Carlson also contributes to GQ magazine and is on staff with TIME magazine.


Previously, Carlson was a White House correspondent and deputy Washington bureau chief for the magazine. She covered President Bill Clinton and Bob Dole's presidential campaigns in 1996.


Carlson joined TIME in January 1988 from The New Republic, where she was managing editor. With the 1994 start of her former TIME column, Public Eye, she became the first woman columnist in the magazine's history.


Her journalism career includes time as Washington bureau chief for Esquire magazine, editor of Washington Weekly and editor of the Legal Times of Washington.


Carlson earned her bachelor's degree in English from Pennsylvania State University. She also earned a law degree from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

Blog Entries by Margaret Carlson

Never Trust a Naked Massa in a Tickle Fight

0 Comments | Posted March 11, 2010 | 11:57 AM

Republican-on-Democrat malice hardly merits a headline after "You lie" was shouted at the president during a joint address to Congress.

Democrat-on-Democrat malice is still newsworthy and any Democrat ready to unload on President Barack Obama is an instant hero in some quarters, as former New York Representative Eric Massa found...

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Limbaugh's Barbs Test Palin's Honest Outrage

0 Comments | Posted February 5, 2010 | 11:57 AM

I never thought it would come to this. Sarah Palin is going to have to unheart Rush Limbaugh. Otherwise the only conclusion is that she fakes her emotions, even those that seem most genuine.

In her reaction to a remark by Rahm Emanuel, the crude White House chief...

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Obama Surrenders to General's Political Surge

0 Comments | Posted December 14, 2009 | 5:05 PM

No more calls. We have a winner. All hail General Stanley McChrystal, who has won his war for 30,000 more troops to be deployed to a country whose government is so rotten and corrupt many of its citizens prefer the Taliban.

Marching triumphantly to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, then giving...

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Real Housewives of D.C. Can't Beat C-SPAN

0 Comments | Posted May 29, 2009 | 6:45 PM

Bravo announced this week that it is expanding its Real Housewives franchise to the nation's capital, with its "influential players, cultural connoisseurs, fashion sophisticates and philanthropic leaders."

Have they been here lately? The best-dressed aide on Capitol Hill would horrify the lowest grip at Universal Studios. There are no cultural...

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Obama Takes His Outside Game to the Inside

0 Comments | Posted November 6, 2008 | 11:56 AM

How fast we journalists move so as not to be left behind or be seen as sentimental.

I expect a story any minute that President-elect Barack Obama is moving too fast, or not fast enough. That his first hire, that of Representative Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff...

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Hillary Discovers Happy Medium in Television

0 Comments | Posted March 6, 2008 | 1:51 PM

Let's take an emotional IQ test this morning.

Senator John McCain, the happiest presidential candidate, locked up the Republican nomination and will have few party members other than Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter sniping at him. His challenge is to continue acting "humbled'' and "honored'' to have won and to...

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Rudy Exits With Temper, Mean Streak in Check

0 Comments | Posted January 31, 2008 | 4:17 PM

Like millions of New Yorkers, Rudy Giuliani chose to die in Florida.

Rejecting conventional campaign wisdom that advises against skipping the early presidential primaries and relying instead on his residual fame from 9/11, he made his stand in sunny Miami Beach instead of Concord, New Hampshire. He was tanner, readier...

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Hillary Pulls Race Card and Obama May Fold

0 Comments | Posted January 17, 2008 | 10:08 AM

At approximately 6 p.m. on Jan. 15, three hours before a Kumbaya interlude at the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, I saw Al Sharpton defending Senator Barack Obama from charges of youthful drug abuse.

As we all know by now, the accusation arises from Obama's own admission in his...

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For Hillary, Fatigue Can Be Deadly Weapon

0 Comments | Posted January 10, 2008 | 1:14 PM

Did choking up a day before the polls opened in New Hampshire help Senator Hillary Clinton to a surprising primary win on Jan. 8, stopping what seemed like a tidal wave of support for Senator Barack Obama?

Or was it the pile-on at the debate on Jan. 5, or Bill...

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Hillary Tries Temper, Tears to Stop Obama

0 Comments | Posted January 8, 2008 | 10:18 AM

The Clintons have a steep hill to climb in New Hampshire. Like parents who know better, they have to convince voters that the guy they've fallen in love with isn't good for them.

So far, Bill Clinton is off his game. And Hillary Clinton seems incapable of getting some of...

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Huckabee's Boom May Be About Ready to Bust

0 Comments | Posted December 13, 2007 | 10:57 AM

Mike Huckabee is having his moment, if you haven't heard. The folksy, witty Baptist preacher with the Gomer Pyle face deserves it, if for nothing other than giving the U.S. presidential debates a touch of humanity.

He really is a compassionate conservative, the kind who drives the low-tax, small-government wing...

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Hillary vs. Rivals Is Vegas Bout Worth Viewing

0 Comments | Posted November 15, 2007 | 9:17 AM

To all who have shunned previous televised presidential debates, listen up. Tonight, pop a cold one, Tivo Grey's Anatomy or CSI, and catch the supper show live from Vegas: no cover, no minimum and no dancing girls, unless a certain candidate pirouettes around questions she'd rather not answer.

Las Vegas,...

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Democratic Debate Proves You Can Hit a Girl

0 Comments | Posted November 1, 2007 | 3:59 PM

The U.S. presidential debates have been largely a bust, unless you go in for stilted round-robin interviews that reward memorization and neatness over substance.

All those "raise-your-hand-if-you-agree questions'' reduce the candidates to schoolchildren begging the teacher for a hall pass.

Given the setting, Hillary Clinton won every encounter, even though...

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Rudy May Yet Hear an Amen From Values Voters

0 Comments | Posted October 23, 2007 | 2:24 PM

Amid the booths pushing abstinence ("Pet Your Pet'' T-shirts), commandment-of-the-month bumper stickers and religious statues the size of aircraft carriers, the attendees at last weekend's Values Voters Summit are more open to heresy than I would have thought.

As they hung out around the Starbucks kiosk outside the Washington Hilton...

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Bush Is Happy to Leave Some Children Behind

0 Comments | Posted October 18, 2007 | 10:40 AM

Legislation-by-anecdote is a dangerous enterprise. If you want to misunderstand stem cells, consult President George W. Bush's account of "snowflake babies,'' born from unused embryos at in-vitro fertilization clinics.

For every tale of a deadbeat dad with five kids on public assistance, there are thousands of fathers working three jobs...

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Thompson Stays Awake, Squeaks by on Big Test

0 Comments | Posted October 10, 2007 | 11:26 AM

The sixth Republican presidential debate was pass-fail for former Senator Fred Thompson. To succeed, all he needed to do was stay alert and not nod off in the middle of an answer.

That doesn't mean the audience didn't doze off every so often. There was a build-up to this one,...

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Bush Secret Torture Powers Need Public Purge

0 Comments | Posted October 9, 2007 | 12:02 PM

Anyone who doesn't get their news through an IV drip from Fox or Rush Limbaugh knows, thanks to The New York Times, that George W. Bush has been secretly obtaining legal opinions that condone torture while publicly abiding by an opinion of former Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 that...

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Fasten Belts for 8 Hours on Tarmac

0 Comments | Posted October 4, 2007 | 2:19 PM

U.S. President George W. Bush said last week, "We've got a problem. We understand there's a problem. And we're going to address the problem.''

That sounded promising. It's never too late to pull yourself together, and there's no shortage of problems for Bush to address: health care, which is ruining...

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Spendthrift Bush Draws Line on Kids' Health

0 Comments | Posted September 27, 2007 | 9:45 AM

Responding to a question about the growing number of uninsured Americans, President George W. Bush observed: "No one goes without health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.''

This let-them-eat-cake attitude recalled Barbara Bush's observation when thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims lay sleeping with strangers...

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Jailed Governor Needs Another Day in Court

0 Comments | Posted September 19, 2007 | 3:05 PM

With the nomination of retired federal judge Michael Mukasey, there's fresh hope that the U.S. Justice Department can be cleansed before the end of the Bush administration.

Veteran lawyers without a leader they respect at Justice say it may be sunny and 80 degrees outside, but it feels like a...

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