Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
More than three weeks after the election, some journalists are beginning to ask the same question: Where is Joe Biden?
Carol Lee at the Politico newspaper notes the vice president-elect has not spoken in public since November 4th and is generating less buzz than the non-existent "first puppy."
Biden was present on stage at only one of President-elect Obama's three news conferences this week. Even on the Sunday shows — where Biden used to be seen frequently — chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser David Axelrod have been representing the new administration.
David Ignatius at the Washington Post calls Obama's No. 2, "the incredible shrinking vice president-elect. Where is he these days? Do they have him in a box? He can't be happy at the idea of considering [Hillary] Clinton as foreign policy tsarina — wasn't Biden's foreign policy savvy the reason he was picked?"
Army of One Dollar Bills
Throughout the campaign, there was a lot of talk about the majority of candidate Obama's campaign contributions coming from an army of small donors giving only a few dollars each.
However, a study by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute says Obama's small donor base — while significant — was not the financial engine of his campaign. The study found that just 26 percent of donors to the Obama campaign gave a total of $200 or less.
Four years ago, small donors made up 25 percent of President Bush's re-election effort. This year, 21 percent of John McCain's donors gave $200 or less.
The report states that the majority of President-elect Obama's money came from repeat donors giving more than $200 and large, bundled donations.
CFI executive director Michael Malbin found, "The myth is that money from small donors dominated Barack Obama's finances. The reality of Obama's fundraising was impressive, but the reality does not match the myth."
'Tis the season for war on Christmas stories to bubble to the surface. At one Florida school, it was not just Christmas, but a ban on all holiday decorations in common areas. But, the president of Florida Gulf Coast University has reversed his decision.
Wilson Bradshaw says he removed the ban because of an overwhelmingly negative response: "It is now clear to me that we have erred in our attempt to find a balance between how best to observe the season in ways that honor all traditions — while also allowing employees to express their individual beliefs during the upcoming holiday season."
The Fort Myers News-Press reports that besides the now-defunct decoration ban, the school has canceled a popular greeting card design contest and transformed its "Giving Tree" for needy kids into a giving garden. As of now "the tree to garden" decision will stand.
Pins and Needles
A Paris appeals court has ruled voodoo dolls of French President Nicolas Sarkozy may continue to be sold — but must include a warning that sticking the pins into the toy "constitutes an attack on the personal dignity of Mr. Sarkozy."
Bloomberg News reports that the court rejected Sarkozy's appeal to block the sale of the dolls, saying they fell within the right to free speech and humor. After a lower court hearing last month ruled against Sarkozy, the toys became a top-selling item on Amazon.com's French Web site.
Sarkozy's lawyer says he is satisfied with the ruling and does not regret appealing the lower court's decision.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.