Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
John McCain's chief media adviser is suggesting he will quit the campaign — rather than work against Barack Obama.
Mark McKinnon was a Democrat before working for President Bush's campaign in 2000 and 2004.
He tells National Public Radio — "I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama. I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."
McKinnon says while he disagrees with Obama on fundamental issues, he likes him a great deal. He says he will still support McCain — but only from the sidelines.
That Portsmouth, New Hampshire landlord we told you about last week who was stiffed by the Clinton campaign for office rent has now been paid — and he's giving the money to Barack Obama. Terry Bennett tells the Portsmouth Herald he was overnighted a check after the story got out. He says he is giving the money to Obama because when Clinton's campaign workers left his office in a big mess — and didn't pay — that was the last straw.
And Bennett apparently wasn't the only business owner to get stiffed. The Herald reports a man who owns a cleaning service in Des Moines, Iowa says the campaign skipped out on a $7,500 bill. The Clinton campaign says everyone who provided a service will be paid — and that these two cases were "isolated delays."
Paying a Price
Southern Baptist Minister Wiley Drake says he is being investigated by the IRS for endorsing Mike Huckabee in a press release written on church stationery. Drake is the pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, California. He says the IRS sent him a 14-page letter earlier this month following a complaint by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Federal tax law states church officials may not endorse candidates or parties without putting their tax-exempt status at risk. drake says he was only offering his personal endorsement — not that of the church.
And folks in Saudi Arabia looking for Valentine's Day gifts this week were pretty much out of luck — because of a national ban on all red gift items. Undercover Islamic religious police have been going around forcing shops to stop selling red roses and other such gifts. The Muslim authorities say Valentine's Day is a pagan Christian holiday that promotes sin and encourages relationships out of wedlock.
Other Muslim-controlled areas are not so sure. valentine's day items are available in bahrain, kuwait, and dubai, among others.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.