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Wealthy Americans' Election Day Response to Threat of Obama Tax Hikes

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Cost Effective

Despite plans by Barack Obama to raise taxes on the rich, the wealthiest Americans supported him over John McCain Tuesday.

Exit polls indicate those who said their annual family income is $200,000 or more picked Obama over McCain 52 to 46 percent. Those voters accounted for about six percent of the electorate.

In contrast, three of the four middle income categories favored McCain. He did best among voters who said they earned $150,000 to $200,000 a year.

A Run for Their Money

A new study indicates the 2008 campaign shattered all previous spending records.

The non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics says the candidates and parties, as well as interest groups, spent $5.3 billion on the presidential and congressional races. That is a 27 percent increase over the $4.2 billion spent in 2004. It is also the first time major party presidential candidates collectively raised more than $1 billion.

The study also shows the gulf in fundraising and spending between Barack Obama and John McCain: Obama raised a total of $639 million during his campaign and spent $573 million; McCain raised $360 million while spending $293 million.

An Axe to Grind?

Sources tell FOX News that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is planning to meet as soon as this week with Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. They will discuss Lieberman's chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats, but many of them are still stinging over Lieberman's endorsement speech for Senator McCain at the Republican Convention. Since then, momentum has been building to strip Lieberman of his post and sources say that likely will happen.

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Barack Obama did not have to wait long before his leadership as incoming president was challenged.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev not only did not publicly congratulate Obama today, he did not mention Obama by name during his first annual address to the Russian people. But, he did announce plans for a new missile system to counter the planned U.S. missile defense installations in Eastern Europe.

Medvedev also accused the U.S. of triggering the world financial crisis and said selfish American foreign policy sparked the war between Russia and Georgia in August. He added, "We hope that our partners — the new U.S. administration — will make a choice in favor of fully-fledged relations with Russia."

Medvedev did later send a congratulatory telegram to Obama calling for a constructive dialogue based on trust and consideration of the countries' respective interests.

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