- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jennifer Harper is writing this column while Greg Pierce is on vacation.

NUMBERS GAME

Pollster John Zogby is garnering criticism from some bloggers for conducting a survey of 512 “Obama voters” on behalf of HowObamagotelected.com, the Web site of talk radio-host-turned-filmmaker John Seigler, who is promoting a film of the same name.

Mr. Zeigler’s basic premise is that the mainstream news media simply wanted Mr. Obama to win, and provided correspondingly positive coverage. The Zogby poll, meanwhile, essentially revealed that those voters remembered good stuff about the president-elect and bad stuff about Sen. John McCain’s campaign.

Nate Silver of Fivethirtyeight.com has accused Mr. Zogby of conducting a dubious “push poll,” meant to ferret out negative information on Mr. Obama and cast aspersions on his supporters.

“I would hope that any and all clients that need legitimate polling work conducted would take their business elsewhere. These clients include C-SPAN and Reuters, two organizations with longstanding and well-deserved reputations for accuracy and neutrality,” Mr. Silver said Tuesday.

“We stand by the results of our survey work on behalf of John Ziegler, as we stand by all of our work,” countered Mr. Zogby. “We reject the notion that this was a push poll because it very simply wasn’t. This poll was not designed to hurt anyone, which is obvious as it was conducted after the election. The client is free to draw his own conclusions about the research, as are bloggers and other members of society. But Zogby International is a neutral party in this matter.”

PAGING MOTEL 6

Hat in hand, looking for handouts, the three CEOs of the Big Three automakers are still in town hoping to get a few kajillion dollars in federal bailout money.

The trio is not exactly staying in rooms befitting the newly frugal, though. A sharp-eyed source finds them in swanky digs, indeed.

“Alan Mulally of Ford is at the Ritz Carlton downtown. Rick Wagoner of GM is at the Hay-Adams. Robert Nardelli of Chrysler is at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City. What does this tell you? Are spas in California or maybe a partridge hunt in England next?” the source demands.

NO DRAMA OBAMA

“If you leak, you’re gone” - that is the new mantra for the transition worker bees who may be tempted to buzz.

“Many of the major staff appointments so far … along with details about internal thinking on Gitmo and other subjects have escaped whatever barriers the Obama team has set in place,” writes Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic.

“Every transition staffer and adviser has signed a non-disclosure agreement, and staff members are regularly warned by their superiors not to talk to the press. My guess is that the sheer size of the universe that Obama’s now dealing with - huge agency teams, reams of outside advisers being asked for their opinions - renders silence virtually impossible.”

Story Continues →