Obama & The Jews

•March 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

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How Obama Became Acting President

•July 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Frank Rich
The New York Times
July 27, 2008

IT almost seems like a gag worthy of “Borat”: A smooth-talking rookie senator with an exotic name passes himself off as the incumbent American president to credulous foreigners. But to dismiss Barack Obama’s magical mystery tour through old Europe and two war zones as a media-made fairy tale would be to underestimate the ingenious politics of the moment. History was on the march well before Mr. Obama boarded his plane, and his trip was perfectly timed to reap the whirlwind.

He never would have been treated as a president-in-waiting by heads of state or network talking heads if all he offered were charisma, slick rhetoric and stunning visuals. What drew them instead was the raw power Mr. Obama has amassed: the power to start shaping events and the power to move markets, including TV ratings. (Even “Access Hollywood” mustered a 20 percent audience jump by hosting the Obama family.) Power begets more power, absolutely.

The growing Obama clout derives not from national polls, where his lead is modest. Nor is it a gift from the press, which still gives free passes to its old bus mate John McCain. It was laughable to watch journalists stamp their feet last week to try to push Mr. Obama into saying he was “wrong” about the surge. More than five years and 4,100 American fatalities later, they’re still not demanding that Mr. McCain admit he was wrong when he assured us that our adventure in Iraq would be fast, produce little American “bloodletting” and “be paid for by the Iraqis.”

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Black Radio is Left’s Answer to Limbaugh

•July 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Jim Rutenberg
July 27, 2008
NY Times

ATLANTA — Warren Ballentine, one of black talk radio’s new stars, was on a tear against Senator John McCain as he broadcast from the Greenbriar Mall here last week, blithely dismissing Mr. McCain’s kind words about Senator Barack Obama at the recent N.A.A.C.P. national convention.

“He came out talking about how good of a race Barack Obama was running, and how proud he was of Barack,” Mr. Ballentine said. “You know he went back home and said, ‘I can’t believe I spoke in front of all those Negroes today!’ ”

“He was pandering to the crowd, talking about how he felt when Martin Luther King Jr. died,” Mr. Ballentine went on. “However, he didn’t vote for the holiday of Martin Luther King Jr.”

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McCain: Still with us?

•July 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Still Here?

McCain: Still Here?

Obama In Israel: Did He Drop “Change” From His Agenda?

•July 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

by Seth Colter Walls
July 25, 2008

Overall, the reviews have been stellar for Barack Obama’s foreign trip. A fortuitous news cycle laid out the red carpet for the presumptive Democratic nominee in Afghanistan when John McCain decided to announce that more U.S. troops were needed there. And the pattern was repeated again in Iraq, where the prime minister specifically endorsed the Illinois Democrat’s withdrawal plan mere days before receiving him.

But in Israel, there persists a sense among some observers that Obama failed to deliver on his oft-repeated promise of “change” during his visit this week.

“From my personal point of view, I was really disappointed,” said Israeli former deputy national security adviser Gen. Israela Oron. “There was no special message that you wouldn’t expect from any other politician. He didn’t say anything that he would regret. But since he is selling some kind of new promise in American political life, I expected him to say or to do something unusual, but he didn’t,” she told the Huffington Post, adding somewhat playfully: “But who am I to judge an American candidate?”

In fairness, Obama’s visit to Israel was perhaps destined to be more politically dicey than his tour of Iraq, a country upon which American public opinion appears settled in favor of withdrawal. By contrast, the question of Israel and its enemies — Iran, Hezbollah, and stray Palestinian rocket fire — connects back to issues ranging from the substantive to the bogus that have long proved tricky for the Obama campaign.

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Mixed but mostly positive reaction to Berlin visit

•July 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

July 25, 2008

Barack Obama touched hearts during an impassioned speech to a 200,000-strong crowd in Berlin, German newspapers agreed, but suspicions remain about the White House contender’s motives for courting a European audience.

Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel wondered whether so many young people had ever gathered for a political event in Germany and said that Obama’s address — which echoed speeches by former U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan when the divided city was in the Cold War frontline — could only have been made in the German capital.

“Barack Obama’s address might not have been statesmanlike and it definitely wasn’t worldly-wise. But with its symbolism and the message of this 46-year-old, it certainly was the signal of a new era for a new generation on both sides of the Atlantic,” the newspaper said.

“What better thing could have happened to us than the potential next president of the U.S. sending this message to the world from here?”

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GOP Senate candidates avoiding RNC Convention?

•July 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

by Erin McPike
July 25, 2008
The National Journal

Nine of 12 targeted Republicans running in the most competitive Senate races this fall are either skipping the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., or have not decided whether to attend.

Among those who will not attend are Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, who is not close to presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is a McCain loyalist. Stevens and Collins will use the convention week to focus on their campaigns.

Also sending regrets is former Rep. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, running for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Wayne Allard.

Six others — Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Gordon Smith of Oregon and challengers John Kennedy of Louisiana and Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico are still on the fence. Their spokesman offered responses ranging from “there are no plans yet” to “no decisions have been made.”

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