Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The media have spent twice as much money traveling with the Obama campaign as with John McCain. The Politico newspaper reports Federal Election Commission records from the time they announced their candidacy through the end of September, show the press spent $9.6 million on hitting the trail with the Obama camp versus $4.4 million on McCain's.
The gulf in spending is due in part to Obama's prolonged battle with Hillary Clinton and his costly trip to the Middle East and Europe, but the Politico says, "The gap shows more media interest in traveling on the Obama Express than the Straight Talk Express."
The most one-sided TV network was CBS. It spent $1.2 million traveling with Obama and just $222,000 on McCain. The most balanced was FOX News, which spent $496,000 on Obama and $313,000 on McCain.
A former loan officer for Countrywide Financial who handled those infamous VIP mortgages says that despite their denials his clients were fully aware they were getting special deals.
NBC News reports Robert Feinberg says that in speaking to such big shot clients, "You spoke in a manner that was different than you spoke with a regular customer. 'Your loan has been specially priced by Angelo. You're getting special discounts because you're in the VIP loan department.'"
The "Angelo" he is referring to is Countrywide's former CEO Angelo Mozilo, who is under federal investigation with other Countrywide employees for a program that provided special mortgage deals to well-connected people including Democratic Senators Kent Conrad and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd.
Both senators say they knew they were enrolled in the VIP program, but that they were unaware it included any preferential treatment.
New York Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler says Senator Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright lasted for as long as it did because Obama was not politically brave enough to end it.
An online video shows Nadler at a synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida, this weekend immediately after an Obama campaign event. A man confronts Nadler about the relationship, to which Nadler responds, "What I'm about to say is not particularly complimentary to Senator Obama... Why do you join the church? That's how you get to know people... Maybe it takes a couple years but [you think] Jesus, this guy's a nut, this guy's a lunatic. But you don't walk out of a church with 8,000 members in your district. Why?... He didn't have the political courage to want to make the statement of walking out."
Calling the Race
While Iran says Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has no intention of having a no preconditions meeting with Barack Obama — something Obama said he would do — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is ready.
Chavez predicts "the black man" will win U.S. presidential election and says he is ready to meet with a President Obama. Chavez is a socialist who has mocked President Bush and calls Fidel Castro his mentor.
He says, "We are not asking him to be a revolutionary, to be a socialist — no. We just want the black man who is about to be the U.S. president to have enough stature for the times the world is living through," adding, "I send an overture to the black man... I am ready to sit down and talk."
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.