Bristol Palin and Tea Party in Cahoots?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Family Affair

It seems a version of what has been dubbed the "Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome" has taken another twirl on the dance floor, this time directed at daughter Bristol who is competing on "Dancing With the Stars."

Conspiracy theories have been growing charging that her mother's popularity and even the Tea Party movement are the only reasons Bristol has lasted so long on that show.

Gary Stein of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Bristol is -- quote -- "one of the worst dancers they have had." He continues -- quote -- "The Tea Party wing nuts, still excited about screwing up the country with the elections earlier this month, are now overloading 'Dancing With the Stars.'"

And over at the liberal Daily Kos comes this gem -- quote -- "Sarah Palin fans keep on voting her in, not because of her greater talent, but as a tribute to her grifter mom."

Show host Tom Bergeron, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat, says he has no patience for the liberal conspiracy theories about Bristol's longevity on the show, adding -- quote -- "She's a charming young woman who has shown an incredible growth from week one to this week."

Parting Shots

Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins is blasting chairman Michael Steele on his way out the door.

Collins resigned today citing disorganization and financial problems within the leadership. His resignation letter read in part -- quote -- "we enter the 2012 presidential cycle with 100 percent of the RNC's $15 million in lines of credit tapped out and unpaid bills likely to add millions to that debt."

The RNC responds its efforts just contributed to what it calls the most successful elections for the Republican Party in modern times.

Macho Macho Man

And finally, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been depicted as a pretty macho guy in all of the Kremlin releases.

We've seen Putin shirtless riding a horse; shirtless carrying a gun; whale hunting with a crossbow. But now a softer side: Putin cuddled up with a sheepdog pup last week that was a gift from his Bulgarian counterpart.