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FODDER OF THE BRIDE

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Viewers of CNBC’s talk show Equal Time (weeknights, 8:30-9 p.m.) know the real reason to watch the show isn’t to enjoy the banter between cohosts Mary Matalin and Jane Wallace and their guests, who range from MTV VJ Daisy Fuentes to HUD secretary Henry Cisneros. It’s to hear ex-Bush operative Matalin, 40, discuss her unlikely romance with James Carville, Bill Clinton’s weirdly charismatic ex-campaign manager, whom Matalin affectionately calls Serpenthead. ”James called me first thing this morning to tell me this is the last Thursday of his life that he’ll be a single man,” Matalin tells Wallace during a typically frank joint telephone interview with Entertainment Weekly, one week before her scheduled Thanksgiving Day wedding in New Orleans. ”Do you think that’s flattering? I just want a reality check.” ”If he wasn’t so eager to get married, I would say it was a slam,” Wallace says, letting loose with one of her trademark braying guffaws. ”But I’ve never seen a guy who wanted to go down the aisle so bad in my life.” Once Matalin returns from her honeymoon (at home in D.C.) on Dec. 6, Equal fans can look forward to tales from the marriage. ”I love James’ bald head,” Matalin admits. ”I like to rub it.” Sure, it’s a little odd, but when was the last time you heard The McLaughlin Group discuss their love lives? -Bruce Fretts

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