Anyone who cares about the future of Jewish life in Los Angeles eventually explodes in frustration over the community's inability to tap its own enormous wealth.
Acuity, passion, the ability to hold several conflicting ideas at the same time, a wide-ranging and detailed understanding of the world we live in, and an ability to articulate a broad intellectual and moral vision -- watching Bill Clinton last Monday night at the Universal Ampitheatre made me realize how much I miss these attributes in a president.
This is not a criticism of George W. Bush. I imagine he would be the first to acknowledge, with some pride, that he's no Bill Clinton. Among the crowd that pressed to touch flesh with Clinton in a post-speech reception, several people admitted that Clinton would probably have done no better, and maybe worse, than Bush in executing the war against Al Qaeda. Different men, different strengths and weaknesses.
But last Monday night, it was Clinton's gifts that were on display.