It's easy to read too much into whom a candidate chooses to advise him before an election, but it is risky to avoid the tea leaves
Here is a dreaded conversation familiar to most parents of Jewish teens: Them: "Hi, this is your synagogue youth adviser calling to make sure you received the flyer about our upcoming youth group event. Will your child be joining us?"
Call it the tale of two Mellmans.
Mark Mellman, one of John Kerry's top four advisers, launched a talk with Jewish Democrats in Boston last month with a drasha (short sermon) on the meaning of Tisha B'Av, the Jewish fast day that happened to fall during the party convention. Then, with nary a comment from the crowd, Mellman glided into the case for the Massachusetts senator.
Contrast that with the introduction this Sunday for Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman at a similar Jewish event.
"One of us, Ken Mehlman -- let me repeat that, one of us, Ken Mehlman -- is running the Bush-Cheney campaign," said Morris Offit, a Republican and the president of the New York federation, barely containing his grin as he emphasized Mehlman's Jewishness.