Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
President Obama delivered on a campaign promise Saturday to his most important constituency: his wife. He took the first lady to dinner and a Broadway show in New York.
The costs of the meal and theater tickets were paid for by the president, but the White House has declined to say how much the rest of the trip cost taxpayers. The New York Post reports that aircraft expenses for the date cost you at least $24,000.
The Obamas flew into JFK Airport on a smaller Gulfstream 500 plane instead of the larger version of Air Force One, then took the Marine One helicopter to Manhattan. They dined at a Greenwich Village restaurant before taking in the play "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."
The Big Grapple
New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel has apologized after he was criticized by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for joking that President Obama should avoid Harlem while in the Big Apple.
A reporter asked the Democrat Saturday what the president should do while in New York. Rangel said, "Make certain [President Obama] doesn't run around East Harlem without identification."
That was a reference to the shooting last week in Harlem of a black police officer who was in street clothes and had his gun out while chasing a suspect. The officer who killed him was white.
Bloomberg said of Rangel, "He's just plain wrong. This was a tragedy. Our police department is diverse... there's no reason to suspect this had any racial overtones."
Rangel now says his words were "entirely inappropriate."
We told you last week that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was marking the 10-year anniversary of his TV show "Alo Presidente" by airing a four-day marathon edition. But the socialist leader made it through only two days before a dispute over a live segment and technical issues derailed his celebration.
Media Reports say Chavez canceled Saturday's show after he backed out of a live debate with a conservative Peruvian author. The Sunday edition was supposedly scratched because of technical difficulties.
Meanwhile, Chavez says he has a new gift for president Obama. In April Chavez gave the president a copy of the book "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent." Friday he said he wants to give Mr. Obama the book "What Is to Be Done?" by Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin.
Perhaps he's hoping for another boost on Amazon.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy 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.