Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.: WMDs a 'Manufactured Excuse'

And now the most telling two minutes in television, latest from the wartime grapevine:

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WMDs a 'Manufactured Excuse?'
Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd (search), an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, continues to blast the White House, now suggesting weapons of mass destruction may have been a "manufactured excuse by an administration eager to seize a country." Back in October, however, Byrd said on the Senate floor he was "confident that Saddam Hussein (search) retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability."

Smaller Surge
A new Gallup Poll shows more people have come to think of New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton (search) favorably since her book came out earier this week, with 43 percent saying they have a favorable view of her two weeks ago and 53 percent saying that now. And as the book is briskly going off shelves in the nation's larger cities, that's apparently not the case in smaller cities, such as Fresno, Calif., where slow sales are being reported. WTOC-TV in Savannah, Ga., says local bookstores have sold only 10 percent of their stock.

Quoting a Consumer
And more on Ms. Clinton's book. Dozens of media outlets, describing the New York crowds buying her book, have quoted the man at the front of the line at the Barnes & Noble in Manhattan Monday morning, Greg Packer, a highway worker from Long Island. Packer may be a Hillary fan but he has also managed get himself into dozens of different new stories over the years. To name a few, he's been in a story on the war in Iraq, in a story on the Yankees, in a story on New York's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in a story on the opening of a Star Wars prequel, in a story on the opening of the the Ground Zero viewing platform and in two stories from two different New Year's celebrations in Times Square.

In Line Because 'I Believe in Clintons'
And then there's the man at the front of the Barnes & Noble line at Lincoln Center Sunday night, Charles Greinsky, who told CNN he wanted to be one of the first people in line because "I believe in the Clintons."  What both news outlets failed to mention, however, is that Greinsky is a longtime Clinton campaigner who has hosted the Clintons inside his home and who has been to the White House and the Clinton's home in Chappaqua, N.Y., several times.