Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
War and Peace
President Obama, Secretary Clinton and others have said they want to "restart" the U.S. relationship with Russia. But Vice President Joe Biden may have reignited some Cold War-era tensions over the weekend.
Biden told The Wall Street Journal that Russia's economy is withering and suggested the trend will force the country to make accommodations to the West on a wide range of national security issues, including loosening its grip on former Soviet republics, and shrinking its vast nuclear arsenal.
Russian newspapers are ripping Biden. A Kremlin spokesman wondered exactly who is making U.S. foreign policy, and a Russian presidential aide diplomatically called Biden's comments perplexing.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says both the president and Biden believe better relations with Russia is in both countries' interests. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized that the administration views Russia as a "great power."
Much Ado About Nothing
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she does not care that she is one of the most despised political figures in the country. The latest FOX News opinion dynamics poll, with a margin of error is +/- 3 percent of registered voters, shows her favorability rating at just 29 percent, and 47 percent unfavorable; a 16-point increase from March of 2007.
A recent Public Strategies-Politico poll, +/- 3.1 percent, revealed only 24 percent of Americans trust the California Democrat, a term that struck a chord with Pelosi who told Politico: "I don't know about 'trust' — I think I'm trusted. I certainly want to be trusted. I'm not particularly concerned if I'm liked."
Ken Spain, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, says in Politico: "Nancy Pelosi is not only vastly unpopular with the American public, but her credibility is waning within her own party."
As Democratic leaders play down talk of a second stimulus package, Republicans are attacking the effectiveness of the first one. They are pointing to stimulus-funded projects they say are slow-moving and include absurd and wasteful pork projects. According to the Department of Transportation, funds from the $787 billion stimulus package will go to Summit, Utah: $395,000 for Wildlife Connectivity; Carbon, Wyoming gets $1.5 million for a deer underpass. In Carlton, Minnesota, more than $77,000 is intended for a living snow fence; $4.5 million in Albany, Wyoming for a snow fence replacement. Lake Jackson, Florida will receive $3.4 million for a turtle tunnel. And Douglas, California gets $31.5 million toward a bike trail.
— FOX News Channel's Britt Lanna contributed to this report.
Bret Baier is the Chief Political Anchor of Fox News Channel, and the Anchor & Executive Editor of "Special Report with Bret Baier.” His book, "Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission," (William Morrow) is on sale now.