Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Hold the Phone

President Obama was so concerned that he may have mishandled a question from New York Times reporters about whether he was a socialist, that he called the paper to clarify his position. The president initially answered the question aboard Air Force One saying, "Let's take a look at the budget, the answer would be no."

The president explained he wanted a return to the tax rates of the 1990s by giving a tax-cut to 95 percent of workers. But the president may have felt that was too dismissive, and called the Times from the Oval Office explaining: "It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question... it wasn't under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. it wasn't on my watch."

Asked whose watch he was talking about he said: "I just think it's clear by the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system."

Rush to Judgment?

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been under fire for saying he wants President Obama to fail. Limbaugh has since explained he was talking about the president's policies and not the president specifically, or the economy.

A 2006 FOX News opinion dynamics poll showed that 51 percent of Democrats surveyed did not want President Bush to succeed during his second term. Thirty-four percent of independents said the same thing. Just seven percent of Republicans wanted President Bush to fail.

Fightin' Words

And finally, the son of President Obama's pick to head the National Intelligence Council has some choice words for his father's critics. Charles Freeman writes on The Washington Note blog that the appointment of his father Chas Freeman, "is being challenged these days by a small cabal of folks... putting aside my natural instinct as a son to want to punch some of these guys in the face for some of the things they are saying about my father, for heaven's sake, I'm more deeply angry about the lack of guile some of these people have. They are low-lives. And if you're among them and by chance read this: I still want to punch you in the face. You deserve it, you schmucks."

We told you last week a bipartisan congressional group wants a review of the elder Freeman's ties to Saudi Arabia to guard against a conflict of interest. He is a former U.S. ambassador to the kingdom and now runs a Saudi-funded think tank. In a 2006 e-mail he called the 1989 Chinese government crackdown at Tiananmen Square "overly cautious."

— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.