Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Not Necessarily the News?
The extent to which the success of the troop surge in Iraq has driven the war off the front pages is clearly illustrated in a new survey.
The Pew Research Center repor ts just 16 percent of respondents say Iraq is the first news story that comes to mind now. That's down from 55 percent in mid-January.
In fact, 33 percent say there is now too little coverage of the war — that's 10 points higher than the result in June.
And the specific stories getting too little coverage? Sixty-three percent say the challenges of returning service personnel. And 61 percent want to know more about the personal experiences of the troops.
Police in Chandler, Arizona are looking for a rape suspect who they believe has assaulted five teenaged girls since June of last year — most recently last Thursday. They have released a description of the suspect based on the victims' accounts.
But now a local radio station is criticizing police for using the word "Hispanic" in the description. Mayra Nieves of station KMYL says using the word "Hispanic" is racial profiling — saying Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race — and asking police to describe the rapist as having "dark skin."
Police are not budging, however. A spokesman says it would be "irresponsible" to change or alter their description.
Show Me the Money
Questions are being asked about the dispersal of at least a half-million dollars raised to defend the suspects in the Jena Six case. The Chicago Tribune reports parents of the black teens accused of beating a white classmate are refusing to account for the money.
Only one national civil rights group — Color of Change — has fully disclosed how it is distributing the $212,000 it collected. And that group has come under attack from nationally-syndicated black radio host Michael Baisden and one of the suspect's parents.
Meanwhile photos on the Internet show one of the suspects posing with $100 bills stuffed in his mouth — and two others modeling like rap stars at the recent BET Hip-Hop Music Awards.
Trouble at Home?
Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination is wearing thin with the folks back home.
A Quinnipiac University poll indicates 55 percent of those surveyed said Dodd is spending too much time on the campaign trail — and not enough on the concerns of Connecticut citizens. Seventy percent say Dodd should drop out of the race — including 68 percent of the Democrats asked.
Dodd has moved his family to Iowa — the site of the first caucuses — and has enrolled his oldest daughter in kindergarten in Des Moines.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.