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White House spokesman Jay Carney’s explanation to the press for President Obama’s brief Christmas shopping expedition to Best Buy and PetSmart in Alexandria on Wednesday, in the company of uber-patient dog Bo.

What he bought: One jumbo-sized chew toy, one Wii video game called “Just Dance 3,” two $50 iTunes gift cards, three large pizzas.

FORGET MAYOR BALDWIN

Why, Alec. We hardly knew ye. Alec Baldwin has cut the role of politician from his life, making it quite clear that he is no longer considering a run for the mayor of New York City.

“I’ve lost my appetite,” the actor announced in his weekly podcast on WNYC radio, comparing the Manhattan mayoral field to a frisky guy on a hot date - and emphasizing he’s happy to stay within the warm confines of NBC’s “20 Rock,” which he stars in.

“Am I doing some edgy, like, finely chiseled social drama? No. Am I doing ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’? No,” Mr. Baldwin declared. “I give up money and fame and position and success. I give up this wonderful life I have now in exchange for the chance to really change things? I’m not quite sure you can anymore.”

HOLLYWOOD’S JOHN CAIN

“None of these middle-aged white guys are game changers.”

“So find me a woman.”

And so goes the dialogue in “Game Change,” an upcoming HBO movie that chronicles the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin. That scintillating conversation is between Mr. McCain, played by Ed Harris, and strategist Steve Schmidt, played by Woody Harrelson.

The characters are already walking and talking, though. HBO has released the preview for the film, due out in March, and well-timed should Mrs. Palin decide its time for her to jump into the 2012 presidential race. Then again, critics have long speculated that the film will not be flattering the Republicans. See the preview here: www.hbo.com/movies/game-change

POLL DU JOUR

• 58 percent of Americans say that the way the presidential campaign is being conducted means the electoral process “is not working as it should.”

• 39 percent disagree, and believe the system is working.

• 57 percent say that the presidential candidates are talking about issues they “really care about.”

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