Changing Times for Presidential Address Photos

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Out of the Picture

White House officials say they are ending a policy that's been in place for decades banning still photographers from taking pictures during a live presidential address like the most recent one in which President Obama announced Usama bin Laden's death.

The little-known arrangement was designed to try to avoid the noise from camera shutters and to make sure the placement of the teleprompter was correct. But the policy still forced the president to have to re-enact part of his speech so photographers could snap pictures afterwards, a practice news organizations had protested for years.

Now White House officials say they've decided the policy is a bad idea and will be working out new arrangements with photographers.


We've previously reported Usama bin Laden had watched himself on T.V. in some of those videos seized from the Abbottabad compound, videos the Pentagon has since released. Now Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill says she recognized herself presiding over the Senate when his T.V. was tuned to C-SPAN.

McCaskill tells Politico -- quote -- "It's just strange that the most evil guy on the planet is watching you on T.V." Adding, bin Laden -- quote -- "...wasn't watching me, he was watching the country he hated and its government."

Power Player?

Vice President John Nance Garner once famously quipped the vice presidency isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. Well, it appears Usama bin Laden agreed. His journals reportedly discuss target priorities including President Obama and the military chiefs but Vice President Biden was not on the list.

One U.S. official told ProPublica -- quote -- "There is a note indicating that the vice president is not an important target because that position has less weight."

No reaction from the vice president's office.