Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Sounding the Retreat
Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is taking fire for a decision to ban the Marines from staging urban warfare training in his city over the weekend. About 200 Marines traveled four hours from Grand Rapids, Michigan to conduct exercises that had been approved by Toledo police.
But the Democratic mayor pulled the plug Friday afternoon, saying the Marines frighten people — and he didn't want them drilling in a highly visible area.
Fellow Democrat — Councilman Frank Szollosi — wants the mayor to apologize — saying — "We are very chagrined at our mayor. He doesn't get it. The urban exercises play a key role in assuring the safety of (military) personnel."
One major figure in the War on Terror is plummeting in the polls — and it's not President Bush.
Usama bin Laden's numbers are significantly down in a new survey of Pakistanis for the U.S.-based Terror Free Tomorrow organization.
Bin Laden's approval rating among Pakistanis is at 24 percent — as they prepare to vote in elections next week. That's down from 46 percent in August.
Al Qaeda and the Taliban are also losing support. Al Qaeda gets just 18 percent positive reaction from Pakistanis, down from 33 percent last summer. The Taliban is at 19 — down from 38.
Seal of Disapproval
The Hillary Clinton campaign is said to be worried that the man considered the ultimate prize among uncommitted super delegates — former Vice President Al Gore — may endorse Barack Obama. The New York Daily News reports the Clinton camp is hoping Gore will stay on the sidelines — but is shuddering over word that Obama has been courting Gore for months.
Clinton supporters worry Gore might be sorely tempted to stick it to the Clintons, whom he blames for his loss in 2000.
One insider tells the news — "the level of animus between them is unbelievable."
Another says — "the Clintons and the Gores can't stand each other."
And Senator Clinton is taking some shots — at herself — in the latest issue of US Weekly magazine.
Clinton pokes fun at some of her unusual fashion choices over the years in a story called "My Worst Outfits Ever." Of this one — she says — "I'm a big believer in recycling — even carpets."
High-waisted striped pants from her college days earned the comment — "It's not my fault, it was the 60's".
She says of this long dress — "Now you know why I stick with pantsuits."
And about this polka-dot number — "This outfit isn't that bad; it's just an optical illusion."
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.