Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Wag the Dog
Former President George W. Bush has made it a point to keep a low profile in recent months. But he showed up Thursday at a scholarship reception for high school seniors in New Mexico and talked about what he called the "liberating feeling" of no longer having the responsibilities of the Oval Office.
Bush spoke about the surreal experience of returning to life-as-usual in his Dallas neighborhood, including walking his dog Barney and the business that goes along with a dog walk: "There I was, former president of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand. Life is returning back to normal."
Out of Towners
Millions of visitors descend on the nation's capital each year and so it is inevitable that not every trip is wrinkle free. Such was the case for a group of over 100 kindergartners who were turned away from their White House tour Thursday.
A local TV station reports school officials said heavy traffic caused their charter bus to arrive 10 minutes late. They say parents were told the White House staff needed to prepare for the arrival of the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers — so the tour was off.
Angry parent Paty Stine notes of the president's message of change: "Here we are for the common, middle-class people and here he is not letting 150 5- and 6-year-olds into the White House because he's throwing a lunch for a bunch of grown millionaires."
The White House says the group arrived an hour past the designated arrival time and that they are working to reschedule the visit.
New Building, Old Problems
Another disappointed group: Elderly and disabled people trying to enter the newly renovated Capitol Visitor Center. The Hill newspaper says security restrictions and far-away bus drop-offs with uphill walks are causing headaches for tour guides and older patrons.
One seniors' group was told there would be no golf carts to help shuttle them to the entrance and they would have to hoof it.
Neil Amrine, head of the Guide Service of Washington, says the tour guide told him that she thought people were going to die. He adds: "There were people in wheelchairs and walkers spread all the way down Independence [Avenue]. It was really pretty awful."
Officials say it is difficult balancing security needs while still keeping the People's House accessible.
— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.
Bret Baier currently serves as FOX News Channel's (FNC) chief political anchor and anchor of Special Report with Bret Baier(weeknights at 6-7PM/ET), the highest-rated cable news program in its timeslot and consistently one of the top five shows in cable news. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.