Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is reportedly growing increasingly frustrated with the Obama administration. A Reuters analysis piece says Sarkozy is shifting his focus from the U.S. to other international allies.
Didier Billion of the Institute of International & Strategic Relations says: "Sarkozy has clearly been thrown off course in his relations with America." Another foreign affairs expert, Bruno Tertrais from the Foundation for Strategic Research, adds: "There is an annoyance about what the French see as naivety in the Obama administration."
One major sticking point has been President Obama's softer stance on Iran, while President Sarkozy prefers a more hawkish approach. Sarkozy said last month: "I support America's outstretched hand. But what has the international community gained from these offers of dialogue? Nothing but more enriched uranium and centrifuges."
No Good Deed
The administration is said to be laying the groundwork to insulate itself from criticism, should Democrat Creigh Deeds lose his race for Virginia governor. The Washington Post says the White House is now blaming Deeds for running a poor campaign and failing to heed the advice of President Obama and current Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.
One senior administration official tells the Post: "There was some reluctance to run all around the state with Barack Obama... you don't do that in Virginia." Another says: "Obama, Kaine and others had drawn a road map to victory in Virginia. Deeds chose another path." Both Obama administration advisers spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity.
But political expert Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia Center for Politics tells Fox: "You don't have this kind of finger-pointing in winning campaigns... the Obama White House is trying to avoid any blame, but it won't work."
Practice What You Preach?
The man leading the charge to oust House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel apparently has some ethics issues of his own. Roll Call newspaper reports Texas Republican Congressman John Carter failed to disclose nearly $300,000 in profits from stock sales in 2006 and 2007.
An anonymous Democratic aide tells the Politico newspaper: "It looks like there's $300,000 worth of his crap he left out of the witch hunt."
But Carter's spokesman, John Stone, says: "The transactions had no effect on his net worth, other than it may have reduced it after paying capital gains taxes. He will amend his 2006 and 2007 reports."
House Minority Leader John Boehner adds: "It does nothing to change the staggering array of charges facing Chairman Rangel or the speaker's responsibility to force him to step aside."
— Fox News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy 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.