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They say opposites attract, but liberal pundit James Carville and Republican wife Mary Matalin must really be smitten to have put up with each other's jokes at the Alfred E. Smith dinner Tuesday night.
The Democratic consultant and GOP strategist teased their better halves at the Waldorf-Astoria during the annual Catholic charity fundraiser famous for its political roasts.
“The first time [Fox News president] Roger Ailes saw him, he said he looks like a fish who swam too close to a nuclear reactor,” said Matalin, wearing a black one-strapped Oscar de la Renta gown, adding: “He'll always be my stud muffin, but after 20 years I guess I just have to accept he's an acquired taste.”
Carville, a media personality launched into fame after his work on Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, was a little less critical of his wife and poked fun at himself.
When explaining a story in which he asked his young daughter to behave, he recalled in his heavy New Orleans' drawl: “She said 'Dad, I'll be good if you'll give me a dollar.' And my wife looks at her and says 'Why can't you just be good for nothing like your Daddy?”
In addition to local big shots like Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Archdiocese Timothy Dolan, both gubernatorial candidates were under the chandelier of the Grand Ballroom.
The headline-making Carl Paladino was the butt of so many jokes from both sides, he could have been a third roaster. But he -- and Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo -- left the hotel with out any response for reporters.
“You can go to the tea parties, but you just can't drink all the tea when your there,” said Carville, referencing the candidate's run for the bathroom at the end of the previous night's gubernatorial debate.
“And don't worry about it if running for governor doesn't work out, because then I think I can get you a job as a pitch man for Flomax.”
His wife wouldn't zing her fellow GOPer without taking a swing at the Democrats.
“They say he's got thinning hair, a heavy regional accent and a short fuse. Oh, he'd steal my heart. Guys like that take my breath away,” she said, making a crack at her husband. “If he was a loudmouth liberal he'd be my ideal for marriage material. But then again, if Carl were a loudmouth liberal, New Yorkers would be facing an echo, not a choice.”
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