Inside the Beltway

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Question of the Day

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

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• Whenever President Obama says, “I’m here to tell you,” “Democratic leadership,” or “let me be absolutely clear.”

• Whenever Mr. Obama alludes to the “last eight years” or “inherited” to deflect interest from his policies.

• When the networks use the acronym “SOTU” — “State of the Union” for the uninitiated — as an on-screen graphic.

• When they cut to a shot of Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, looking “grizzled.”

• If Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, yells something.

• If someone other than Mr.Wilson yells something.

• If Michelle Obama wears a sleeveless dress.

• If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “claps like a seal.”

• If Mr. Obama receives a standing ovation, and Republicans stay seated.

Uh-oh, O’Keefe

“Right-wing filmmaker” (CBS News).

“ACORN Gotcha Guy” (New York Daily News).

“Fake ACORN pimp” (Newsweek).

“ACORN antagonist” (Los Angeles Times).

“Independent filmmaker” (Fox News).

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About the Author


A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.

She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...

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