Paul Begala

CNN political commentator

Paul Begala is a political commentator providing insight "from the left" on CNN's programs including Inside Politics. On Inside Politics, Begala and liberal commentator James Carville debate the hottest issues of the day with conservative commentator Robert Novak.

Begala was formerly co-host of Crossfire, CNN’s political debate program. He first entered the national political scene after his consulting firm, Carville & Begala, helped elect President Bill Clinton in 1992. Serving in the Clinton administration as counselor to the president, he helped define and defend the administration's agenda and served as the principal public spokesman.

Carville & Begala's other well-known electoral successes include the 1991 Senate victory of Harris Wofford in Pennsylvania, the 1990 gubernatorial victories of Georgia's Zell Miller and Pennsylvania's Robert P. Casey and the 1998 re-election of Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

Previously, Begala co-hosted with Oliver North MSNBC's political talk show, Equal Time. Author of the best-selling book Is Our Children Learning?: The Case Against George W. Bush, he also recently co-authored the current best-seller Buck Up, Suck Up and Come Back When You Foul Up with Carville. Begala helped John F. Kennedy, Jr. launch George magazine, where he served as a contributing editor and wrote the Capital Hillbilly column. He has also written numerous articles and op-eds for numerous publications.

A native of Texas, Begala earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas, where he taught before his work at the White House. After leaving the Clinton administration, Begala joined Georgetown University's staff as a research professor of government and public policy.