[This assertion, unlike the others, has some merit, and it's possible the two arrived at the phrase independent of one another; but given the other examples cited here, that likelihood is not great.]
"By a curious paradox Richard Nixon was one of the very few people who emerged from the Watergate affair with credit."
"Ironically, Nixon was one of the few people who emerged from Watergate with credit ..."
[Johnson is British, Crowley American; why would she, on her own, use a Britishism like "with credit"?]
Chatterbox left phone and e-mail messages with Crowley, but received no response. It's possible that Crowley, like many of the more attentive members of the news media, is on vacation this week. Or perhaps Crowley's closeted in order to finish a Talk magazine profile she's reportedly writing about Liddy Dole. (The New Republic's Dana Milbank recently quoted Crowley saying she's trying "to humanize another Republican.")