Barack Obama's presidential candidacy is providing a crash course on race in America.
"Thank you for reminding those who sometimes forget that "never forget" means just that..."
JewishJournal.com VideoJew Jay Firestone covers the election from a local perspective
Hillary Rodham Clinton scored a major victory with Jewish Democrats in New York and New Jersey in Super Tuesday voting, Barack Obama won a majority of Jewish support in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and the battle was close in California.
As the son of Holocaust survivors, I select my political candidates based on two criteriaÃ¯Â¿Â½"what's best for the country and what's best for Jews everywhere, particularly Israel. In both respects, John McCain is unquestionably the best candidate running for President.
Just weeks after his first presidential visit to Israel, President Bush made clear his priority for his final year in office: the economy, stupid.
If the president has a Middle East breakthrough up his sleeve, he was not ready to reveal it Monday in the State of the Union address that precedes his last year in office.
It was the South Carolina debate among Democrats: Barack Obama was trying to establish his solid religious credentials in that state, which he went on to win handily last Saturday.
It's wrong for Americans to vote against or for someone based on religion, gender or race. But the hyphenation of America is the modus operandi of Democrats. On a good day, the best that we can expect from them is class warfare. And, now, just as they have campaigned against Republicans, they relentlessly play the gender and race cards, against each other.
In 2004, John Edwards lost the Democratic presidential nomination because he was considered a foreign policy lightweight. He won the vice presidential slot because his social policies had depth.
Four years later, Edwards' social and domestic positions remain pretty much the same -- positions that are favored by the vast majority of American Jewish voters.
His foreign policies now have substance, too. That's what worries some Jewish voters.
John McCain's reputation as a maverick holds true in the Jewish world, where his list of allies spans the political spectrum.
His long-term support for Israel and human rights issues along with his willingness to cross party lines has won him allies among conservative Republicans, independent Democrats and even some liberal Jews.
Topping his list of Jewish supporters is U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), the independent Democrat who made headlines by endorsing the presidential bid of his Republican colleague from Arizona.
Mitt Romney's pitch to Jewish voters breaks down into three components: His tough line on Iran; his record as a Republican governor who worked well with Democrats; and his belonging to an oft-misunderstood religious minority.
Romney boasts a master's degree in business from Harvard and enjoyed phenomenal success during his 14-year career orchestrating leveraged buyouts as the chairman of Bain Capital.
As the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, he worked with a Democratic Legislature and an overwhelmingly liberal Jewish community to enact a groundbreaking "Health Care for All" law. He has a scion of a famed Mormon family; his father was Michigan's governor.
Ask about Barack Obama's natural constituencies and you might hear that he's the first black with a viable shot at the White House, or about his Kenyan father and his childhood in Indonesia, or the youthfulness of his followers, or the millions of Oprah junkies swooning over his candidacy.
What you might not hear is that the Illinois senator has made Jewish leaders an early stop at every stage in his political career.
Mike Huckabee was a barely known former governor of Arkansas when he attended an October house party on his behalf at the home of Jason Bedrick, New Hampshire's first Orthodox Jewish state representative.
Which is probably why no major media outlets picked up on the Republican presidential candidate's radical proposal that day for the Middle East: a Palestinian state -- in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
"He is truly a uniter and not a divider," Bedrick recently told JTA.
Seven years of hard work cultivating the Jewish leadership in New York and nationally paid off for U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
Now she's hoping to capitalize on that support as she engages in a tough battle for the Democratic nomination.
American Jews have always been at the forefront of the fight for social justice, whether in the labor movement or the civil rights movement. We understand the enormous challenges facing this country and our world. We know that what America needs, and what the world needs, is a leader with the courage and strength to lead our great nation forward.
All three Democratic candidates are on the record as strong supporters of Israel. While continued support of Israel is of paramount concern to the American Jewish community, it is not the only issue we consider when choosing which candidate to support for president. Please allow me to offer the other reasons for my unqualified support for my friend, John Edwards.
In February 2002, after 9/11 and during the worst of the second intifada, very few visitors were coming to Israel. One who did was Hillary Clinton.
Visiting Magen David Adom, she met an Israeli soldier in his early 20s named Natan, an Ethiopian Jew who had jumped on a terrorist carrying a bag full of explosives. Natan had miraculously survived the explosion that but for his extraordinary heroism would have killed many Israelis.
Last Sunday, to mark the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator Barack Obama delivered a courageous sermon at King's Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Notably, after recalling our country's dismal treatment of African-Americans throughout much of our history, Obama challenged his own community to acknowledge the intolerance and anti-Semitism in its midst. In so doing, he has challenged all of usÃ¯Â¿Â½"Jews includedÃ¯Â¿Â½" to look deep inside our own hearts and minds to break down the barriers that divide America.
Like many voters, I am thrilled that viable candidates this year include a Mormon, a biracial man, and a woman.
Full disclosure: I'm a Mormon. Who's biracial. And loves women.
You wouldn't know it from the flood of hysterical emails we have all seen, or from a fair amount of the commentary, but there is a groundswell of Jewish American support for Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign. That should hardly be surprising, for it is a reflection of the nature of our community. When he speaksÃ¯Â¿Â½"with eloquence, unmistakable authenticity, and passionÃ¯Â¿Â½"for the values we hold most dear, he renews our hope for America in these difficult times.
Before a packed meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) three years ago, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) connected her political support for the Jewish state with her personal life.
Now that the Democrats have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the party is expected to install Pelosi, 66, as speaker, making her the first woman to hold the position that is two heartbeats away from the presidency.
The tone of the U.S.-Israel relationship remains the same whoever controls Congress, but Democratic pledges to stringently oversee the Iraq war could affect how the United States confronts Iran. Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Nov. 7 elections, the latter conclusively decided with Sen. George Allen's concession of the Virginia race on Nov. 9.Bipartisan support for Israel would be constant, Jewish and Israeli officials said, defying a pre-election barrage of Republic Jewish Coalition ads that insisted that the Democratic Party's support for Israel was eroding.