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Special Report

How Did Sen. Obama Hurt One Reporter's Chances With a Woman?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Lower Pay Than Wal-Mart

Former Senator and noted Wal-Mart critic John Edwards is scheduled to sign books at a Manchester, New Hampshire Barnes & Noble store tonight. Edwards frequently criticizes the retail giant for paying its employees too little.

But the union leader newspaper points out that the Manchester Wal-Mart starts its workers out at $7.50/hour — which Edwards has said should be the federal minimum wage. And the Barnes & Noble where Edwards will appear actually pays its new employees only $7/hour – 50 cents/hour less than Wal-Mart.

No Uniforms Allowed

A British army officer was stopped from entering a Harrods department store on Remembrance Day — their version of Veterans Day — because he was in uniform. The Daily Mail reports the officer had just participated in a parade — but was kept from going in the store because his uniform violates Harrods policy.

The store says customers might be intimidated or alarmed by the sight of someone in uniform — or might mistake them for staff and ask them where the lavatories are. Shadow Defense Minister Mark Harper called it "an outrageous slap in the face to our armed forces." And one member of Parliament says the policy treats military personnel as sixth-rate citizens.

Glamorous Lifestyle?

The world of spies seems exotic... the problem is, intelligence is mostly just hard work. So the CIA , in a major new recruiting drive, is trying to dispel the myths about its work, and be light about it at the same time.

So if you go to its Web site, it punctures some of the James Bond myths about intelligence work, while giving you a lighthearted personality test.

The first myth: That you'll never see your family and friends again. Not true, says the CIA — its similar to working at any major corporation.

Another myth: "Everyone drives a sports car with machine guns in the tailpipes." Then it asks you to choose your own mode of transportation from among "hot air balloon", "amphibious sports car" or "jetpack."

It also explodes the myth that a "glamorous lifestyle awaits you." It does jokingly let you choose among some possibilities, including "sunbathing on your yacht in the Mediterranean."

The CIA is trying to achieve a 50-percent increase in operatives and analysts in the next five years — and is targeting the generation that has grown up using the Internet.

"Baby Face"

Illinois Democratic Senator Barack Obama has apologized to a suburban Atlanta newspaper columnist for subjecting him to ridicule and killing his chances with a prospective girlfriend two years ago.

Columnist Nicklaus Lovelady wrote that Obama had mistaken him for a student when he attempted to ask a question during a press conference in 2004 — and said that he had "a baby face" — prompting derisive laughter from the crowd and a cold shoulder from the girl he'd been pursuing for two months.

The day the column came out — Lovelady got a call — from Obama — who said — "I'm calling to publicly apologize for messing up your game." Obama went on to say about the girl — "if she was that superficial, she wasn't worth it."

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.