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CNN Pundit A 'Sole' Man

Hillary Rodham Clinton at book signing at Barnes & Noble, New York City
AP
Back in April, the co-host of CNN's Crossfire said he'd eat his shoe if Hillary Rodham Clinton's book "Living History" sold a million copies.

On July 9, the book's publisher, Simon and Schuster announced that the magic number had been reached in just the first month of sales, forcing the bow-tied pundit to eat his words.

But he didn't have to chomp on his size 12 soles, thanks to Sen. Clinton who appeared on his show Wednesday with a cake in the shape of a shoe. She said he could eat that instead.

Tucker Carlson told The Early Show co-host Julie Chen that the senator's appearance was a complete surprise: "I said, 'There's a Hillary Clinton imposter on my set.' It wasn't."

But then, he said he also was surprised by the book's sales. "I just didn't think - people don't buy political books in huge numbers, generally," he said.

"It's hard to imagine who would want to buy a book like that. But maybe that's coming from a different perspective," he added.

The publisher ordered 1 million copies for the first printing, an extraordinarily high number for a nonfiction book.

"What has been particularly exciting is the speed with which it has achieved such unprecedented sales levels," Simon & Schuster executive Carolyn Reidy said in a statement.

Carlson told Chen, "I knew I was in trouble when a friend of mine works in a publishing company and said, 'You screwed up. She's going sell 1 million.'"

In "Crossfire," a sheepish Carlson made sure he congratulated Clinton on the sales of her book, adding that he "didn't predict it."

The senator responded that Carlson has been wrong about a lot of things.

"Living History" hit stores June 9 amid a wave of publicity and promotional appearances by the former first lady.

First-day sales topped 200,000, and the publisher quickly announced that it would print even more copies to keep pace with demand.

Clinton signed an $8 million deal to write the book, in which she recounts, among other things, her personal pain and shock at her husband's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

To promote sales, the New York Democrat launched a media blitz and appeared at a number of book-signing events, where fans waited on line for hours.

The intense public interest fueled speculation that Clinton may someday run for president.

When Congress was in recess last week, she traveled to Europe for a series of book-signing appearances.

Since Carlson had already had a cake dessert on his own show, The Early Show Thursday asked Tom Valenti, executive chef at Ouest, one of New York's hottest restaurant, to create some shoe-friendly recipes for the rest of Carlson's meal.

To start, Chef Valenti offered sandal salad, dressed with organic "socky" vinaigrette, followed by "shoelace" linguine. "Nylon doesn't really have any carbs so it's very Atkins friendly," Valenti noted. Next was a stuffed and breaded "sole" with the classic tartar sauce, which Carlson said looked "pretty good." And for the main course, he offered, stuffed meat "loafer."

Carlson said he would probably eat his own shoe after his vacation trip to Maine. He says he's not worried that the shoe will make him sick.

"I generally have low standards about what I put in my mouth," he quipped.