Dean's confusion about the location of the Book of Job generated a fair amount of ridicule at the time from commentators -- but not from William Safire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist of The New York Times, who is speaking next week about Job at Sinai Temple.
With the startling victory of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in the Iowa caucuses and the dismal third-place finish of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the Democratic presidential deck has been drastically reshuffled.
In the middle of a rowdy rendition of "I Have a Little Dreidel" at the Sobelson family Chanukah party in Concord, N.H., Howard Dean walked in and declared himself the cantor.
The Democratic presidential candidate recited the blessings over the candles in near-perfect Hebrew in a dining room crowded with campaign staffers.
"It's another Jewish miracle," Carol Sobelson exclaimed
Listening to Howard Dean reminds me of going to a doctor who starts out the visit by saying, "Bill, you really look sick."
Maybe I do, but I don't want to hear it expressed quite so bluntly. Just like I didn't want to hear Dr. Dean saying in Los Angeles Dec. 15, "The capture of Saddam has not made America safer."
Dean's pessimism was hard to take, especially right after the bearded villain was hauled out of the ground by American troops.
Question: What's behind Howard Dean's ongoing problems in the Jewish community?
Answer: No-holds-barred partisanship, especially among the anonymous attackers who are clogging the e-mail inboxes of Jewish leaders around the country, warning -- without much evidence -- that Dean would somehow be bad for Israel.
But the bitter attacks are having an impact; a frequently heard comment, at least in Jewish activist circles, is that many Jews who have voted Democratic all their lives will vote for Bush if Dean wins his party's nomination.