A national poll in January, Segura said, found 25 percent said Rubio on the ticket would make them “somewhat or much more likely,” to vote for the GOP, but 19 percent said it would make them somewhat or much less likely and 47 percent of respondents said it would have no effect at all.
Romney “may try to tack back” after the primaries, said political scientist Ruy Teixeira, “but the damage is done.”
And now, the first Loop Superglue Award for Adherence to Talking Points (the Gluey) goes to Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart.
In an impressive show of unwillingness to divert from script during an interview with a Dutch journalist — posted on YouTube — Stewart subbornly repeats the phrase “Rick is strong pro-life” over and over . (You can watch it at washingtonpost.com/
The answer, of course had precious little to do with what the poor fellow was seeking, which was a response to Santorum’s widely refuted claims that 10 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands are from euthanasia — half of which are involuntarily — and that elderly folks wear bracelets requesting that they not be put to death.
Our own Fact Checker,
, concluded there was “not a shred of evidence to back up Santorum’s claims about euthanasia in the Netherlands,” and they were mocked in the Dutch media.
The clip is entertaining for a number of reasons, including the Dutch subtitles and Stewart’s perma-smile. But what really won over the judges was the wink she offers (see 1:12), as if to say, “C’mon, you know I’ve got a job to do here.”
Watch and learn, aspiring flacks, because this is how it’s done. And congratulations to Stewart.
Clooney’s other role
Didn’t hang with George Clooney at the Oscars? That’s okay, since he didn’t win for his excellent work in “The Descendants.”
But you’ll get another chance Wednesday — though you’d better start lining up now — to see Clooney in his more important role as human rights activist. He’ll be testifying about a potential hunger crisis in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
As it turns out, Clooney made a quiet visit last week to the volatile border region between South Sudan and Sudan, visiting burned-out villages and people living in caves because of bombing by Sudan’s military, the Associated Press reported.
Last time Clooney was in town he met with President Obama and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A pack of cameras followed his every move.
This time, he’ll be talking about his work with the Satellite Sentinel Project, an organization he founded with human rights activist John Prendergast.
The project uses satellite images to monitor southern Sudan to deter violence by leaders there — a kind of “anti-genocide paparazzi,” Clooney calls it. And he knows about paparazzi.
Cuba may have found a recipe for wooing hearts and minds stateside — and it includes a generous splash of rum.
The Cuban Interests Section — which essentially functions as the Cuban embassy, though you can’t call it that, since the United States doesn’t have normal relations with the country — last year opened a Hemingway-themed bar. Since then, the bar, which is open during invitation-only events, has earned a reputation in diplomatic circles for serving what might be the best mojito in town — if you can score one of those invites.
“The secret ingredient is spearmint,” says Jose Pertierra, a Cuban lawyer who lives in Washington and has swilled a few of the cult-famed concoctions. In less-authentic establishments, mojitos might be made with any old mint, but spearmint, we’re told, is essential to the real article.
, a former chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, says the “mean mojito” and the bar’s focus on Ernest Hemingway — beloved by both Americans and Cubans — are savvy politics. “Stressing the links between the two countries is smart,” he says.
(Of course even smarter would be to cut a deal to free American worker Alan Gross of Bethesda, in prison for more than two years after delivering communications gear to the small Jewish community in Havana.)
The Cubans apparently hope communism goes down a little easier with fine rum accompanied by fresh fruit juice and an icy splash of soda.
And the hand-rolled cigars — which invitees can puff with impunity on the grounds of the complex on 16th Street NW south of Columbia Road — are also said to be world-class.
With Emily Heil
The blog: washingtonpost.com/
intheloop. Twitter @InTheLoopWP.