Even though this is going to be a very close presidential election, maybe closer than in 2008, the Democratic convention of 2012 revealed a party that is stronger today than the dynamic gathering of hope and change that nominated Barack Obama four years ago. For the first time since Ronald Reagan won the White House in 1980, Democrats seem to be emerging from Reagan’s shadow.
Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, Sony Bono, George Murphy and Arnold Schwarzenegger are all entertainers who launched their political careers in California, and they are all Republicans. Indeed, aside from Al Franken, no prominent Democratic officeholder on the scene today started out in the entertainment industry.
Reminders of an evil empire are on display now at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, and they’re not just related to the Soviet Union.
Mort Zuckerman, chairman/editor-in-chief of U.S. News and World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News, tours The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library prior to speaking as part of the Center for Public Affairs Reagan Forum Series on April 13. Photo courtesy The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
Published plays -- especially those in anthologies -- tend to be dismissed by the casual browser as specialty items, of interest only to students of theater history or to actors in search of audition material. Ellen Schiff and Michael Posnick clearly had something else in mind when they compiled their lively new collection, "Nine Contemporary Jewish Plays."
Ronald Reagan's presidency was a time when U.S. Jewish power grew to new levels of influence -- and when Jews learned of its limits.
Thanks to Reagan, who died Saturday at age 93 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's, the years 1981-1989 saw the consolidation of bipartisan support for the causes Jews held dearest: a secure Israel and the freedom of Soviet Jews.
The following are key events in the Ronald Reagan presidency focusing on his Middle East policy and relations with the American Jewish community
I can't remember many Jews around Ronald Reagan when I met him at the very start of his political career. Politics were simple. Jews were Democrats. Republicans were from country clubs that didn't admit Jews.
Reagan seemed unconnected to all that. His experience with Jews was far different than that of the country club Republicans who followed him. True, he grew up in small-town Illinois, where Jews were a rarity, and he graduated from Eureka College, a puritanical Disciples of Christ school. But his movie career was nurtured and shaped by Jews, who remained loyal to him through his days in films and politics and shaped his political life.
Now, every American politician is going to try say Ronald Reagan's shoes fit him or her the best. But --surprise, surprise -- the man who most easily slips into the late American president's shoes these days is not an American, but an Israeli.
The onslaught of coverage following Ronald Reagan's death is providing plenty of reminders of his successes and his failures.
The Reagan Revolution that gave the late president unprecedented national Jewish support had strong roots among Southern California's Jewish philanthropists and political strategists.
Talk to Jewish Republicans these days and you hear a palpable sense of coming out of the wilderness.