Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Approval at All-Time Low
The president's approval rating continues to hover below 50 percent in two new polls — including an AP survey that shows President Bush's approval at an all time low of 43 percent. But while no president likes to see an approval rating in the 40's, the President is faring far better than Congress which rates a mere 31 percent approval rating in the AP Poll. A new Gallup survey puts the number at 34 percent.
What's more, just half of Republicans approve of the job the GOP-controlled Congress is doing compared to 21 percent of Democrats.
Virginia Democratic Governor Mark Warner (search) says his party needs to stop belittling rural voters and their values. Warner tells the Los Angeles Times that during a recent trip to California, he felt some fellow party members were condescending toward him because of his state's southern backwoods reputation, adding, "I came out saying, 'That's why America hates Democrats.'"
Warner says his party needs to attract more moderate voters, and offer its own policy ideas — not just block the President's proposals. Meanwhile, Warner has formed a federal political action committee to start raising money for a possible presidential run in 2008.
Baby-faced politicians beware — a new study reveals that cute candidates may pay at the polls. Students in a Princeton University (search) study were able to pick the winners in congressional races nearly 70 percent of the time just by looking at pictures of the candidates... and researchers say the effect likely reflects differences in the candidates' "babyfacedness."
The study concluded that students tended to chose the most competent looking candidate and that baby-faced politicians are perceived as less competent than more mature-faced, equally attractive candidates.
Republicans on the House International Relations Committee (search) are privately fuming over their one-vote margin of victory on a key U.N. Reform bill and they're directing their anger at Indiana Republican Dan Burton (search), who skipped Wednesday's vote to play golf.
Committee members were warned last week not to miss the vote, which was seen as a crowning moment for outgoing committee Chairman Henry Hyde (search). Instead, Burton chose to play in the Booz Allen Hamilton pro-am golf tournament — a decision that could cost him the top spot on the committee.
Roll Call quotes one anonymous committee source as saying, "Dan Burton has enraged me... And he wants to be the "F"-ing committee chairman?" I know you are shocked and stunned that people would use the F-word on Capitol Hill, but apparently it does happen.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report