Grapevine: Plan B for Clay Aiken after congressional loss

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Not-So-Merry Land

School administrators in Maryland are canceling Christmas...sort of.

Montgomery County, which borders Washington D.C. was asked by local Muslim leaders to include the holy day of Eid al-Adha on the school calendar.

The board went in a drastically different direction, removing all religious holidays from the schedule.

School will still be closed, just not technically for Christmas, or Yom Kippur, or others.

The decision left many unhappy -- including the Muslim leaders. One saying -- quote -- "By stripping the names Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, they have alienated other communities now, and we are no closer to equality. It's a pretty drastic step, and they did it without any public notification."

Number Flubber

Vice President Biden occasionally struggles with numbers -- like when he said 161,000 people died in an October tornado, when the actual number was 161.

The Vice President was at it again on Veterans Day.


VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I ask my staff early in the morning to contact the Department of Defense to get a detailed report of the number of troops deployed, the number wounded, and the number killed. Not a general number -- the exact number every day. U.S. troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan: 6,703; troops wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan: 5,168.


He focused in that speech, on how much focus he gives to those exact numbers -- but, unfortunately, that last number was off by 47,000. It should have been 52,168.

Plan B

Finally, one campaign loser had a strong backup plan and donors are not happy about it.

Singer Clay Aiken lost by 18 points in his bid to become a North Carolina congressman.

But the Democrat bounced back quickly with the announcement of a TV reality show, focusing on his campaign.

That left some Hollywood heavy hitters wondering what they had actually contributed to.

From actor/producer Steve Tyler, who organized an Aiken fundraiser -- quote -- "Apparently you had yourself covered with a reality TV show deal the entire time -- just in case you didn't win...We feel duped, taken advantage of and lied to."

Aiken told supporters in a video that neither he nor anyone in his campaign had any stake in the documentary.