The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Glass Half Full?
There is further evidence today that people may be feeling a lot better about their own situations than recent statistics on job creation would indicate. Friday's job creation numbers from last month were a meager 32, 000, but there was a huge jump -- 629,000 -- in people who said they were working.
And consumer confidence shot to a 7-month high. Now the AP/ Ipsos Cash Index, which measures consumers' spending and attitudes toward the economy, stands at 104.8, up from 92 last month.
DC Staff Quits
According to National Journal, the entire staff of Louisiana Congressman Rodney Alexander's Washington office has now quit in mass -- after Alexander on Friday abandoned his Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party. That party switch left Democrats scrambling for a candidate, and effectively nullified a second win in two special elections earlier this year.
Alexander said -- "I just decided it would be best for me to switch parties, that I would be more effective ... as a Republican." Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are calling him a, "cowardly turncoat," and demanding Alexander issue an apology and a refund to, "the thousands of honest people who supported [Alexander] based upon his fraudulent claim that he was going to run ... as a Democrat."
What About Teresa?
John Kerry's Website now has transcripts of primetime speeches during the Democratic Convention, including those of: Kerry himself, running mate John Edwards, Ron Reagan, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Senate candidate Barack Obama, and Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Steve Brozak.
But the speech that got the best slot on Tuesday night: that of Kerry's own wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, is not included.
Oh, and by the way, Kerry's Web site formerly had a series of quotes from when Kerry criticized, "Benedict Arnold companies for shipping jobs overseas," but that series of quotes has now disappeared.
Sweating the Small Stuff Pays Off?
One day after radio-talk show host and past-presidential candidate Alan Keyes officially announced he's running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, a napkin doused with the Republican candidate's sweat is up for sale on Ebay. The ad says -- "Own a part of American history... Keyes was sweating profusely after his stem-winder speech, and the sweat was collected from a napkin at approximately 3:02 p.m. Central Time."
After starting out at $.08, the napkin is now fetching more than $210. The ad says proceeds will go to the Keyes campaign.
UPDATE on Kerry War Record Controversy
John Kerry's former commanding officer George Elliott, who joined a number of Vietnam swift boat veterans in criticizing Kerry's war record in a new campaign ad, was quoted in the Boston Globe last week as saying his accusation that Kerry "has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam" was a mistake.
But later on Friday, Elliot released an affidavit saying he was misquoted by the Globe and reaffirming his belief that Kerry has not been honest about what happened back then. Elliot had recommended Kerry for a Silver Star during the war ... but reaffirmed today that he didn't know all the facts... and would never have made the recommendation had he known Kerry only pursued and killed one wounded, fleeing enemy soldier.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report