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Barack Obama, Joe Biden

AP Photo/Morry Gash

Surely we won't have to be calling this one "Vacationgate"? Surely? It's just that Vice-President Elect Joe Biden's office contacted us after we ran an item this week that stated the senator had asked if he could pull a Palin and stay in someone's beach house over the holidays, kicking them out in the process. You know, special political privileges and all that, like magical fancy wardrobes suddenly appearing.

Next thing ya know, Biden's press secretary calls and emails bitching:

"The rental was arranged by a realtor, who contacted the owners to see if they wanted to rent the house," said Elizabeth Alexander, spokeswoman for the Delaware senator. "The owners expressed an interest in renting the house, and were paid full market rates for the rental."

OK, that's the about-to-be-sworn-in side of things.

Meanwhile, our original source swears it was Biden's brother, a neighbor to the Water Island property, who asked the owners if Joe and his family could have the place over the holidays (which the owners agreed to, thereby canceling their own vacation), not a realtor. In other words, the whole thing was pulled off as a neighborly favor, not a strictly biz arrangement. But no big deal, right?

Yes and no. This is the future vice president of the United States we're talking about, not Tara Reid either being offered or taking a vodka-laced Red Bull at Apple. It's called tax-paid-for public life, folks, the rules are very different. There's an obligation to have everything on the up and up.

So I asked Ms. Alexander was she sure her details were correct, as that's not what I was told. Oh, I also asked Alexander, as California was a slam-dunk supporter for Obama/Biden, if she was aware of either man's opinion on Prop 8, the most divisive prop this state has seen in many years?

Nada back. Not a Potomac peep. Not a great start.