Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Capitol Hell

One of the Democratic lawmakers at the center of the health care fight on Capitol Hill says his life has been a living hell since coming out against the bill unless it includes strict language on abortion funding.

The Hill reports Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak says the battle has taken a toll on his wife who disconnected their home phone to avoid harassment. Stupak says: "All the phones are unplugged at our house — tired of the obscene calls and threats. She won't watch TV. People saying they're going to spit on you and all this. That's just not fun... how's it been? Like a living hell."

More Flies With Honey

It appears congressional Democrats have a new strategy for dealing with Tea Party members: kill them with kindness.

Politico reports that when tea partiers converged on Capitol Hill to protest health care reform Tuesday, they were greeted by accommodating Democratic congressional staff and cordial lawmakers. One elderly woman said: "we met with Congressman (John) Dingell — he was very polite. Everyone's been so nice."

This was not by accident. Monday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen's office sent out a memo on Tea Party etiquette advising lawmakers to have staff available, be helpful, and serve refreshments.

Blarney Stone

And finally, the luck of the Irish was just not with Vice President Biden during Wednesday's Saint Patrick's Day event at the White House with President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen.


Biden: "The Taoiseach knows a lot about it. His mom lived in Long Island for 10 years or so — God rest her soul and — although, wait, your mom is still alive, it's your dad passed. God bless her soul. (Laughter) I got to get this straight."


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