Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 15, 2007 / 25 Adar 5767

Duelling stories define today's politics

By Clarence Page


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Conservative icon Newt Gingrich has wiped away whatever doubts I had that he might be planning to run for president.


The former House speaker has revealed on national television that he conducted an affair with a young staffer, who is now his wife, while seeking President Bill Clinton's impeachment in connection with, of all things, an affair with a young intern. Gingrich admitted in an interview with James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group, that he had "fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of G-d's standards."


I leaped to one conclusion: Oh, yeah, Newt's running.


Candidates do not normally toss their bonnet into the political ring by announcing on national TV that they have had an extramarital affair, but these are not normal times.


The 2008 race is unusually wide open. With no incumbent president or vice president in the race, both parties have crowded fields. Yet, Republicans have been expressing surprisingly deep disappointment with the choices they have been offered.


And, yes, Democrats are nervous about whether their two current frontrunners can go the distance.


It's significant in that sense that Gingrich's confession just happened to follow Sen. Barack Obama's riveting account of his parents' connection to the civil rights history that did not happen quite in the way that he recounted it.


Speaking at the commemoration of the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" confrontation over voting rights in Selma, Ala., the Illinois Democrat energized a church crowd by linking the event to his birth. "There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama," he preached, "because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So (my parents) got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Alabama."


It was such a spellbinding story that I almost didn't want to wonder how the Selma event could have led to the senator's birth, which happened four years earlier. We might call it a story too good to allow facts to get in the way, were he not a presidential candidate.


These are the days of what I call the Narrative Primary, a Get-To-Know-Me period in which candidates project their best sides into the voters' minds through spellbinding stories of their lives, struggles and epiphanies. Obama eagerly wanted the civil rights generation folks in that sanctuary to embrace him as one of their own. A little embellishment of one's life story is permissible in that pursuit, but one should at least keep the timelines straight.


Critics have accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of similar biographical embellishment that day, although the charge appears to be a bum rap. In another Selma church, she recalled poignantly how seeing Martin Luther King speak in Chicago had inspired her during her high school years. Unmentioned were her descriptions of herself in her memoirs during those years as "an active Young Republican" and "a Goldwater girl, right down to my cowgirl outfit." Ah, details, details.


Since Sen. Barry Goldwater, the GOP's 1964 presidential candidate, was one of six Republican senators to join Southern Democratic segregationists in opposing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, her admiration of King sounded contradictory to her critics. But, as the liberal Media Matters for America Web site points out, the New York senator's 2003 memoir "Living History" explains the seeming contradiction in detail. A liberal minister taught her to admire King and a conservative teacher taught her to admire Goldwater, both for their rugged individualism that "swam against the political tide," even if in different political directions.


"I liked them both personally," she says of the senator and the civil rights leader, "and did not see their beliefs as diametrically opposed then or now." Makes sense to me. It also fits nicely into the middle-of-the-road narrative frame that appeals to swing voters who Sen. Clinton is trying to reach.


Which brings us back to Gingrich. His time may have come. The right is restless, hungry for a hero these days. A CBS/ New York Times poll released Tuesday (March 13) found nearly 6 in 10 Republicans said they wanted more choices than the candidates already in the race.


So, if I were Newt right now I'd be thinking: Why not me? If Giuliani implodes as more conservatives find out about his past support for gay rights, abortion rights and gun control, Newt looks increasingly like Luke Skywalker against the encroaching liberal Empire.


As the author of a long list of fiction and nonfiction books, Gingrich understands the power of a good narrative. He's smart to get the bad news about his personal life out now, along with his apologies. American voters can be quite forgiving, as long as you keep your facts straight.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2007, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles