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Special Report

Beltway Elites Losing Touch With Reality?

A Different World

There are new signs that Washington, D.C.'s elites may have lost touch with the rest of the country.

A Politico poll pitted the opinions of a thousand people nationwide agains t those of what Politico called "227 Washington elites," defined as college graduates living in the D.C. metro area and earning more than $75,000 a year at a political job.

In the Beltway, the president has a 66 percent favorability rating; versus 48 percent from other Americans. The national group thinks a generic Republican would edge President Obama by five points in 2012, but Washington elites see the president cruising to a two-to-one victory. Sixty-eight percent of elites say the Tea Party movement is a fad and will go away soon -- a view held by only 26 percent of others.

Stumbling Block

Sarah Palin and an aide to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are duking it out over a planned mosque near Ground Zero. On Sunday, Palin tweeted, "Peace-seeking Muslims: please understand -- Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation -- it stabs hearts. Please reject it in interest of healing."

Bloomberg Policy Aide Andrea Batista Schlesinger tweeted back, "Mind your business" and "Whose hearts? Racist hearts?"

Schlesinger deleted both tweets, saying she regretted her curt response, but stands with her boss who thinks it would be wrong to block construction of the mosque.

By the way, Palin is taking flak from some bloggers for misusing or making up words, like "refudiate" in Twitter postings about the mosque.

Out of the Running?

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg can't shake talk that he may make an Independent run for president in 2012. Some pollsters think that voter exasperation with both parties has opened up a space for the fiscally conservative billionaire who holds liberal social views.

Bloomberg has dismissed suggestions that he will run for president many times, including this past Friday when he traveled to New Hampshire.

Mea Culpa

The Washington Post is offering a "mea culpa" for not covering the New Black Panther voter intimidation story.

Managing editor Raju Narisetti defended the critiques by ombudsman Andrew Alexander and others in a chat with readers on Monday. He agreed the story should have been covered and that staffing shouldn't be an excuse for missing it.