On Oct. 28, 1980, a beleaguered President Jimmy Carter stood on a debate stage with his Republican challenger, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan. Carter’s one chance to save his presidency depended on his ability to portray Reagan’s views as extreme. The best levers appeared to be Reagan’s criticisms of Social Security, but especially his vocal opposition in 1961 to a federal program to provide medical care to seniors — a plan that became law, as Medicare, in 1965.
It was an innocuous interview about a subject I no longer remember. A dozen years ago, I made arrangements to meet Joe Lieberman in a Manhattan office building where he had other business. The Connecticut senator, who announced this week he won’t seek re-election for a fifth term, would be able to spare 15 or 20 minutes between appointments for a taped conversation to be broadcast on the television network where I was then employed.
" . . . Rotbart wants us to feel guilt, regret and fear; the very emotions that the conservative party and our past presidential party have been trying to make us feel for years now. I'm happy to say that we voted for change, and the days of Jews being stuck in an uninformed past are over . . . "
" . . . It is troubling that some Orthodox rabbis have joined with the Christian right to eliminate same-sex civil marriage. Banning same-sex civil marriage is about as relevant to Orthodox Judaism as banning the sale of shellfish . . . "
For now, we must leave the Lost Tribes of Obama on their own. If their ears could not hear and their eyes could not see all the pre-election warnings that a President Obama may cost Israel its very survival, and in a domino effect destabilize the Western world and America, I have yet to discover the magic words that would wake them from their trance.
Now that the election is over and campaign exaggerations can give way to reality, in schools, and everywhere else, people are making efforts to put things back into perspective. While a lot of healing may still be needed before that sort of unity can move beyond a Saturday night at the beach, one uniting factor all agree on is that this election brought a new level of political awareness and passion across party lines and across ages.
For months there was constant talk about Obama's Jewish problem, a lingering fear -- with plenty of empirical evidence -- that an unusually high proportion of Democratic Jews were going to vote for McCain. But in the end it didn't bear out. An early exit poll from CNN concluded that Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote.
As an American, I never thought I would say that I find a new French leader, the pro-opportunity, pro-defense Mr. Sarkozy, closer to the American ideal than our own president-elect. In giving President-elect Obama the benefit of the doubt, I hope sincerely that he can grow into the job, and I can revise that assessment.
So John McCain -- while claiming that not he's not impugning Barack Obama's patriotism -- impugns Barack Obama's patriotism, but we're supposed to understand that it doesn't really matter, because that's just what people do in campaigns.
The latest attacks come on the heels of new polls showing that Obama significantly expanded his lead among Jewish voters since August and is now poised to match the totals recorded by previous Democratic nominees.
High roads, low roads, potatoes, potahtoes, change,real change,mavericks, you betcha.
The classic Yiddish folk tune 'Rumania, Rumania' provides the inspiration for this pro-Obama music video
John McCain and his vice presidential running mate continued Wednesday to accuse the Los Angeles Times of protecting Barack Obama by not releasing the video of 2003 celebration Obama attended for a Palestinian-American scholar and critic of Israel. The newspaper has refused to make the tape public because of a promise made to the source who provided it.
Because of Nevada's role as a swing state, many Jews on both sides of the ticket in surrounding states are flocking to Las Vegas to help stump for their cause, including Democrats from the blue state of California and Republicans from the red state of Arizona, McCain's home state.
For a while I believed him. McCain was the moderate, pro-Israel Republican who could sweep up many independently minded Jewish voters. Early polls showed McCain getting more of the Jewish vote than Bush. But all that momentum stalled when McCain picked Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
If we conservatives believe in fairness, it's only fair that Democrats should get their turn at the wheel. We've had our turn for eight long years -- and we should fess up to the obvious: America has veered off course, and it's a lot worse off today than it was eight years ago
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
In response to a sustained GOP campaign to discredit him on Israel, Barack Obama has touted a growing roster of pro-Israel stalwarts who support him, repeatedly insisted that Israel's security is "sacrosanct," defended Israeli military maneuvers and vowed to do everything in his power to block Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons.
The story of how John McCain came to be friends with a Jewish anti-war protester speaks to his ability to attract praise from across the political spectrum. These days, however, Democrats say the Arizona lawmaker is no longer acting like the maverick of past years.
According to KDKA News Director John Verrilli, it was Pennsylvania McCain spokesman Peter Feldman, in the absence of any confirmed facts, who told the media that the mugger saw a McCain bumper sticker on Ashley Todd's car, and that the B stood for Barack.
" . . . So can a Jew remain true to the Talmud and Torah while simultaneously voting Republican? He not only should not -- he cannot . . . "
"This is not an election where Jews feel they can wholeheartedly embrace either candidate. I've had this conversation numerous times, particularly with older people. But at some point you have to make a decision, and I doubt Jews will sit out this election." -- Jonathan Sarna
Barack Obama's campaign has decided advisers and representatives of the Democratic nominee for president will no longer debate officials from the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).
". . . What McCain did by supporting war in Iraq was helping Iran. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the war is Iran. He did it unwittingly because of a lack of judgment, and it made Iran stronger; they were the big winner. Now Iran is stronger and poses a bigger threat to Israel. . . "
Voters confuse Obama stagecraft with vision. He is articulate and confident but also glib and cocky. This is not a humble man who knows what he doesn't know.
I've never understood why they call a last-minute election ploy an "October Surprise," other than the fact that it usually happens in, you know, October.
Neither candidate on the campaign trail has spoken often on issues that matter to seniors, and when they have, it's been underreported by much of the media. So at the end of the day, how different are the candidates -- and their respective political parties -- from each other when it comes to issues of great importance to seniors, such as long-term care, Social Security, medical insurance and taxes?
A campaign by a new dovish pro-Israel group to get Jewish newspapers not to run Republican Jewish Coalition attack ads has raised questions about what's kosher and what isn't this political season.
I was with Obama in Israel and in Europe, and I saw how he focused on the urgency of the Iranian threat. I saw how he used his discussions in Israel to remind the European leaders that Israelis are justified in seeing Iran with nuclear weapons as an existential threat -- and that for Israel's sake and our own we must put far more pressure on Iran if we are to stop it from going nuclear.
McCain, much like JFK, has pledged to fight for freedom around the world and not to retreat from our enemies. This is certainly what we need today, more than meaningless slogans like "change we can believe in" and "we are the ones we've been waiting for."
It is already ugly out on the campaign trail, and reporters in the field are feeling the heat of the rising anger of a Republican base on the ropes.
But there's also a less benign explanation for the media's negligence, and it's captured by something President Andrew Jackson said nearly two centuries ago: "If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning."
She says Obama, he calls her a 'yenta.' It's an 'only in America' battle of the YouTube videos
" . . .The separation of church and state is the foundation for religious freedom in our great country. Shame on you Rabbis for Obama . . ."
Comedy (?) from The Daily Show. Post-debate analysis reveals John McCain is going to die soon, and Michelle Obama has a big butt. Are these Florida swing voters hilariously out of touch, or simply telling it like it is?
A montage of news photos from 5768 plus cantorial and modern music take this version of the 'Who shall live' prayer into YouTube land.
Joseph Stalin is reputed to have said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." I think he had it half right.
Two McCain advisers told participants in a weekend retreat that his administration would discourage Israeli-Syrian peace talks and refrain from actively engaging in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The candidates reach out and apologize in the Rosh Hashanah tradition, blow a shofar, interrupt, smile, joke and yell, just like your family!
Barack Obama told a conference call of rabbis this morning that he supports government funding for after-school and mentoring programs in faith-based schools
You have to go back to Spiro Agnew and his bullyboy ventriloquists, Pat Buchanan and William Safire, to find this kind of sneering contempt for educated people.
The Republican Jewish Coalition has admitted it sponsored a negative poll about Barack Obama.
The mounting anxiety over Iran's nuclear program is sparking campaign chatter over a possible Israeli strike and prompting a bipartisan effort to revive long-stalled sanctions legislation in the U.S. Congress
This is not just a Jewish phenomenon, though a few thousand years of expecting to be scapegoated, persecuted, exiled or killed certainly contributes to the melancholic gene Jews are known for carrying, the optimism of a Ben-Gurion or Sandy Koufax notwithstanding.
I've known Sarah Palin since her election as governor in 2006. I am confident she will be a great friend of the Jewish community and Israel, as well as a terrific leader and great vice president