Grapevine: Union Chief Apologizes to Duncan

Karen Lewis sorry for 'lisp' joke


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Apology Accepted

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has accepted an apology from the president of the Chicago teachers union -- for a joke she made at his expense.

Karen Lewis was speaking last month at a conference in Seattle -- when she said this.

"This guy - who has the nerve to stand up and say education is a civil rights issue of our time - now you know he went to private school cause if he went to public school he'd a had that lisp fixed!"

She also joked about -- smoking lots of weed -- in college -- then added she shouldn't have said that -- because there were kids present.

Today -- the teachers union blamed what it called right-wing -- anti-public education advocates -- for highlighting the speech.

Three’s Company

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama are trying to smooth things over with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The two were caught making disparaging remarks about the Israeli leader earlier this month.

Sarkozy wrote a condolence letter to Netanyahu following the death of his father-in-law -- pledging his friendship -- despite differing views on the Middle East.

President Obama also reportedly wrote a condolence letter -- but did not mention the incident.

Tropic Thunder

Finally -- a man wearing a loin cloth and carrying a torch -- surprised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a photo op with a Hong Kong official in Hawaii over the weekend.

They did capture that. It is still unclear who the man was -- and why he was there.