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Special Report

Arnold An 'Arrogant Patriarch'?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Harsh Words

The powerful Lebanese militia leader Walid Jumblatt once accused the United States of "wreaking corruption in the Arab land of Iraq and in Palestine," and has likened U.S. military officials to viruses that should be destroyed.

But Jumblatt now says that a "process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq." Jumblatt tells Washington Post columnist David Ignatius "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt adds, "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

Justifying His Remarks

New York Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey says he was right to claim that White House Adviser Karl Rove duped CBS into airing the now-discredited report on President Bush's National Guard Service even though he has no proof, or hard evidence.

Hinchey told CNN's Judy Woodruff that "it's important to speculate about" the sources of media manipulation, but he admits that his theory is merely "a possibility based upon circumstantial evidence."

Meanwhile, CBS Senior Political Editor Dotty Lynch says that former right-wing Talon News reporter Jeff Gannon was a Republican political operative and suggests that Rove sanctioned his presence in White House briefings. She offers no proof.

Arnold's Angle?

The California Nurses Union says Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is biased against women because he called the organization a "special interest group." Schwarzenegger dismissed a group of union protesters last December by saying "The special interests don't like me in Sacramento because I am always kicking their butts."

But the director of the California Nurses' Association says Schwarzenegger was showing his bias by "behaving like an arrogant patriarch with respect to women's occupations." Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger's approval rating has dropped to 54 percent in the latest Field poll and 40 percent of Californians now believe he is beholden to special interests.

Recording Regrets

Former presidential adviser Doug Wead says he now regrets secretly taping private conversations with George W. Bush as he ran for president in 2000. Wead played the tapes for journalists over the weekend to promote his new book on presidential families. But in a statement on his Web site, Wead says he's come to realize that "personal relationships are more important than history." Wead says he'll give the tapes to President Bush and donate any future proceeds from his book to charity.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report