Al Gore's Marriage Loses Warmth

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Separate Ways

After four decades of marriage, Al and Tipper Gore have separated. The couple said in an e-mail: "We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate... this is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together."

The couple met in high school and have four adult children. The announcement comes only two weeks after their 40th wedding anniversary and almost ten years after their famous kiss at the Democratic National Convention.

Tough Love

President Obama's choice to run Medicaid and Medicare will have an uphill battle convincing Senate Republicans he's the guy to fill the position due to his self-professed love affair with the government-funded British health service.

Politico reports Dr. Donald Berwick, also a Harvard professor, calls the system "a global treasure". Adding "to an American observer, the NHS is such a seductress. It can be an example to the whole world. An example, I must say, that the United States needs now more than most other countries do."

Republican John Cornyn calls Berwick bad news. The job has been vacant for four years and is second only to the Health and Human Services secretary in terms of influence.

Also bad news for state-funded health care proponents, Canada says its government-backed system is running the country into the ground. Officials in Ontario say costs could eat up 70 percent of its budget in 12 years if left unchecked. They have launched a study that could lead to big changes.

Simply the Best

And finally, a political party in Iceland called "the best" has won local elections in the capital city of Reykjavik. It was founded by a comedian six months ago and campaigned on promises of free towels at city swimming pools, a new polar bear for the zoo, and a push for a Disneyland at the airport.

The party won six city counselor seats, only two short of a majority. Candidates included a former pop singer, a housewife, and an architect — all political novices.

Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.