Inside the Beltway

Filibuster and mayo

How many Americans were actually paying attention when the Senate debated the filibuster around the clock?

Not too many, it appears.

A majority, 61 percent of Americans, could not define or describe a “filibuster” in their own words, finds a new nationwide survey of 1,000 adults by the Washington-based Polling Company.

And if you think that’s bad, Americans’ knowledge of the filibuster exceeds their ability to name at least one member — either by name or department — of PresidentBush’s Cabinet.

Our favorite findings, however: 4 percent of Americans polled identified filibuster as a medical procedure, 2 percent said it was a sports team, another 2 percent said it was a household appliance, 1 percent said it was a breed of horse, and 1 percent said it was a type of sandwich.

Blueberry queen

Speaking of the Polling Company, that was its president and CEO Kellyanne Conway, one of the most quoted pollsters on the national scene (she was crowned the most accurate predictor of the 2004 elections), celebrating her firm’s 10th anniversary last evening at Sesto Senso in Washington.

Apart from political polling and focus groups, Mrs. Conway — who we have it on good authority was New Jersey’s Blueberry Princess before attending Trinity College, Oxford University, and George Washington University Law Center — provides research and analysis, strategic counsel and crisis management to clients like Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (Heidi Diamond, president of Martha Stewart television, was on Sesto Senso’s guest list last evening), Microsoft Corp., Philip Morris, ABC News, American Express and Major League Baseball.

“Extremely humbling. It’s been a privilege to work with such a diverse portfolio of clients,” said Mrs. Conway, who was surrounded by her husband, George Conway, and the couple’s 7-month-old twins, George Jr. and Claudia.

In lieu of parting gifts (“We figure you have enough mugs, pens and paperweights,” Mrs. Conway said), the pollster provided on behalf of her guests a financial grant to an aspiring women’s business owner, as well as a spa certificate “to a stay-at-home mom who made a different career choice.”

And Martha Stewart fans take note: Her new daytime TV endeavor will premiere in September in more than 90 percent of the country.

Honest work?

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