Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Sound Familiar?

Despite predictions and reports of a record turnout, roughly the same percentage of eligible voters cast ballots in this year's election as in 2004.

The Politico newspaper reports an analysis by voter turnout expert American University political scientist Curtis Gans indicates between 60.7 and 61.7 percent of voters participated. In 2004, a similar 60.6 percent voted.

Gans says at most 128.5 million votes were cast. While that is the highest number of ballots ever, the percentage is not substantially different because more people were registered this time around.

Meanwhile, exit polls show the youth vote (those under the age of 30) accounted for 18 percent of ballots cast — roughly the same as their 17 percent share in the two previous elections.

Mea Culpa?

The mainstream media have been accused of favoring Mr. Obama in the run-up to the general election, and now one of its own has acknowledged the bias.

Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell writes, "Readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys... show that they are right on both counts."

Howell examined her paper's coverage between November 11, 2007 and Election Day. She found Obama-centric stories outweighed reports on John McCain 946 to 786 and The Post featured more photos and front-page stories on Mr. Obama.

Howell says the coverage of running mates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin was also unbalanced. "Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right; it was a serious omission."

Inside Job

Sixty Iranian economists have condemned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic policies and contradicted officials who say Tehran is immune to the global financial crisis.

Iranian newspapers are reporting that a 30-page letter published online reads, "Meager economic growth, widespread jobless rate, chronic and double-digit inflation, crisis in capital markets, government's expansionary budget, disturbed interaction with the world... have combined with the global economic downturn to leave undeniably big impacts on imports and exports."

The letter says Ahmadinejad has scared off foreign investment and that his "extremist idealism" has put the country on a dangerous economic path. The economists also criticize Ahmadinejad for Iran's 30 percent inflation rate, saying, "The financial turmoil sweeping the world would not spare any country, and our statesmen should acknowledge this factual reality."

Ahmadinejad shot back saying Iran has been "the least affected by this international financial crisis."

Candidate of Change

President-elect Obama was not the only one to break barriers Tuesday. Silverton, Oregon, elected the nation's first transvestite mayor.

Stu Rasmussen has twice before been the town's mayor, but that was before he had breast implants, long red hair and started wearing dresses and heels in public.

Rasmussen still speaks in a masculine voice and even has a girlfriend, but he says he just likes dressing up as a woman, and that it was no secret. "I've blackmail-proofed myself... I am a heterosexual male who appears to be female."

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