Inside the Beltway

Question of the Day

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

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EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

The “Cain media” was essentially all over the map following the press conference of Sharon Bialek, presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s blonde accuser, and her attorney Gloria Allred. A sampling of headlines from the 2,000-plus stories and mentions that erupted in the print and broadcast media within an hour of the pair’s appearance:

“Woman says Cain put hand up her skirt” (USA Today); “Woman accuses Cain of bold sexual advance” (Associated Press); “Sharon Bialek: Herman Cain tried to grab my junk!” (Hollywood Gossip); “Accuser details lewd behavior by Cain” (New York Times); “Conservatives divided on Sharon Bialek accusations” (The Washington Post); “Do Sharon Bialek’s charges against Cain amount to sexual harassment?” (CBS News); “How credible in Sharon Bialek?” (Christian Science Monitor); “Georgia Republicans not swayed by Cain allegations” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution); and “You want a job, right?” (The New Yorker).

YULE RULE

“I am excited to announce that the Christmas tree displayed in our state capitol will have homemade ornaments created by Wisconsin’s youth.”

-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, clarifying the exact, official designation of a 30-foot pine, previously known as a “holiday tree,” to be set up in the public rotunda in late November.

VAPID, CONDESCENDING

“We demand a vapid, condescending, meaningless, politically safe response to this petition. Since these petitions are ignored apart from an occasional patronizing and inane political statement amounting to nothing more than a condescending pat on the head, we the signers would enjoy having the illusion of success. Since no other outcome to this process seems possible, we demand that the White House immediately assign a junior staffer to compose a tame and vapid response to this petition, and never attempt to take any meaningful action on this or any other issue. We would also like a cookie.”

- A We the People petition posted Friday at the White House website (www.whitehouse.gov); it has since been signed by 5,380 supporters.

SMARTER THAN A POLLSTER?

Oh, why not? Go ahead and take the Pew Research Center’s News IQ quiz that offers 13 questions about current events, a map or two, newsmaker photos. Only 8 percent of the nation got all the questions right; try it here: http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz

CHEERIOS, CLOROX

Well, at least they share Cheerios. For better or worse, the YouGov BrandIndex, a global pollster, tracked the favorite “red and blue” brands of Republicans and Democrats out of 1,100 major U.S. brand names, the partisan preferences based on such factors as reputation and “willingness to recommend.”

Among Republicans, the top brands are the Fox News Channel, followed by the Fox entertainment network, the History Channel, Craftsman tools, Johnson & Johnson products, Lowe’s home centers, Cheerios, Clorox, the Discovery Channel and M&Ms.

Among Democrats, Google is No. 1, followed by Amazon, the Discovery Channel, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Cheerios, PBS, the History Channel, Levi’s and Clorox.

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