Carl Paladino is not only Pope Benedict's #1 stunt double, but a reasonable man who holds his tongue unless he absolutely must speak out against injustice. But in an interview with the Observer today, it's the media's misguided lionization of Cuomo for largely bridging a $10 million deficit that forces Paladino's tongue to once again, utter truth. "He didn’t do anything. What did he do? He contrived a $10 billion deficit, you guys never inquired as to why…He didn’t solve sh@t, but you guys made him a hero.” Perhaps Cuomo didn't solve it because he was too busy bathing in it?

Paladino's back in the spotlight not just because Papal Justice IV: Vatican Nights is filming, but thanks to his (so far unsolicited) support of Newt Gingrich in tomorrow's New Hampshire primary. “I think one of the girls in my office, they said he’s huggable, which I thought was a nice description for him,” Paladino said, presumably attempting to bait Gingrich into splurging on Tiffany's for his staff.

For those who can't picture the two together, Paladino explains to the Times how he and Gingrich are kindred spirits:

“We are both transparency-type guys,” Mr. Paladino said. “All these hidden agendas, these little secrets, this nonsense here, this nonsense there.” He trailed off, his face assuming his trademark look of disgust with the establishment. “We tell it like it is.”

Oh just own it, Carl: you want a cabinet position. If Newt can realize a 26 percentage-point comeback, maybe you can be Secretary of Bats.