John McCaslin

Reacting Thursday to word that novice guitar player Joe Wurzelbacher, otherwise known as Joe the Plumber, has quickly forgotten whatever middle-class tax concerns that he once had by signing with a Nashville public relations agency that envisions a country music record deal with a major label, WMAL-AM Washington radio host Fred Grandy, a former Iowa Republican congressman, suggested that the plumber has become the "Kato Kaelin" of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Once an aspiring actor, Mr. Kaelin rose to fame overnight during the O.J. Simpson murder case.


It's not just the long precinct lines that Florida's early voters are complaining about, or so we read in a McClatchy news story quoting state Republican Rep. Kevin Ambler as saying some of his constituents consider it inappropriate to vote in places of worship where the same beliefs are not shared.

"If you're Jewish and have to go to St. Timothy's Catholic Church, people complained to us and said they're bothered by that," Mr. Ambler said.


Minimum number of reporters who traveled to Wasilla, Alaska, in the two weeks after Gov. Sarah Palin's selection as a vice-presidential candidate: 90

Estimated number of votes that Oprah Winfrey's endorsement swung to Sen. Barack Obama's primary campaign: 1,015,559

— Harper's Index, November 2008


On Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, an equal distance between the White House and Capitol Hill, one finds the popular restaurant TenPenh, where for the past two months thirsty patrons have been casting votes for their favorite 2008 candidates by ordering various Democratic drinks or Republican drinks.

Sarah Palin — wouldn't you know? — is outdistancing John McCain, 22 percent to 16 percent.


The Central Intelligence Agency understands the importance of intelligence relationships overseas, and it hasn't forgotten that being a good neighbor is extremely important, too.

For that reason, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden and his wife, Jeanine, recently hosted nearly 100 members of the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce (the CIA continues to be the largest employer in McLean) during a reception at the agency's headquarters.

"When I speak at engagements around the nation, I try to demystify our agency," the local folk were told by Mr. Hayden, who explained how the spy agency came about locating in McLean, just across the Potomac River from Washington.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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