Inside Politics

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Kinder, gentler, etc.

Stop the presses. Somebody call Al Gore. A Harris poll released yesterday revealed that Republicans are more “socially responsible” than Democrats.

Strange, and maybe even true.

The survey, conducted May 8 to 14, found that overall, two-thirds of the 2,383 respondents had “good intentions” to volunteer or donate money, while 31 percent said “people have a personal responsibility to make the world a better place by being actively involved with various issues and causes.” About 8 percent said they were “extremely involved” in good causes.

But here’s the prickly part:

“Politically, it is often said that Republicans think of themselves while Democrats think of others, but according to our study, there is not much of a difference between the two when it comes to social responsibility. In fact, Republicans may be slightly more socially responsible than Democrats. One quarter of Democrats (24 percent) are ‘true to their own self’ compared to 22 percent of Republicans, and 9 percent of Republicans and 8 percent of Democrats each practice what they preach,” the survey said.

Queen bee buzz

Select politicians are already receiving the royal treatment in the mainstream press, Geoffrey Dickens of said yesterday. One New York Democrat is getting more than her share, perhaps.

NBC’s early morning crowd has “crowned Hillary as ‘unbeatable.’ This morning’s ‘Today’ pumped Hillary Clinton as the next nominee of the Democratic Party and even used two former Clinton flacks,Lisa Caputo and Dick Morris, to posit she may be unbeatable in the general election,” Mr. Dickens said.

“In fact, Today co-host Meredith Vieira acted as a third flack as she called Hillary the ‘Teflon Candidate’ and noted two recent anti-Clinton books haven’t ‘made any dent in her popularity.’ Vieira greeted viewers with Hillary’s inevitability: ‘Senator Hillary Clinton’s definitely on a roll. A new poll out today shows her lead widening. So why is she doing so well, and can she go the distance?’ ”

The morning hostess then got pushy with her guests, insisting, “The point is, you both think it’s a done deal.”

Well, not exactly.

Mr. Morris replied, “I would never say it’s a done deal” while Miss Caputo offered, “A long way to go.”

More bee buzz

The Democratic presidential contenders continue to slouch along behind front-running Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. According to a Rasmussen Reports survey of 775 likely Democratic voters, Mrs. Clinton is in the lead, favored by 38 percent of likely voters, followed by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois at 27 percent and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at 16 percent.

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