May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
August 6, 2008
/ 5 Menachem-Av 5768
Hey, folks,Obama hasn't closed the deal yet
Some of my Chicago friends who support Sen. Barack Obama already are speaking as if his victory is a done deal. I hate to burst their bubbles, but a nagging question still haunts Obama euphoria: Why isn't he further ahead in the polls?
After all, they gush, his superbly managed campaign of "hope" and "change" seems to be humming along, as strong as the euro against the dollar. The popularity of his rival Sen. John McCain's Republican brand is as weak as a subprime mortgage.
Yet after running as much as nine points ahead of McCain in major polls, Obama's lead has mostly evaporated, especially in key Midwestern industrial swing states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Why?
I think a big reason is McCain's refusal to be scary or outrageous enough.
Although he has yet to win the hearts and minds of his party's conservative base, Republicans could hardly have picked a better candidate in this, their hour of woe. He has maintained enough of his maverick image to resist Democratic efforts to re-brand him as Bush's third term.
Sure, his policies have flip-flopped like the political equivalent of Twister. But Obama has sashayed toward the political middle, too. That's what candidates do in general election campaigns, especially in the dog days of summer. Voters start paying closer attention in the fall. That leaves time for a lot of late-summer dancing.
A second big reason we journalists love to cite is advisors. McCain hired Steve Schmidt, a protege of Karl Rove who has introduced Rove's famous brand of hardball attacks at Obama's perceived weak points: Suddenly we see Obama's charisma recast as empty-headed "celebrity." His freshness is remade into inexperience. His seriousness is recast as hubris and arrogance. His empathy is recast as "elitist."
Sen. Hillary Clinton tried much of this during the primaries. It didn't put her over the top, but it kept her in the race, especially with white working-class voters over age 50. Boomers and older voters have been less enamored of Obama than the young and college-educated. McCain, too, has gotten back into the race, judging by the polls, just in time to wage a competitive campaign in the fall.
How much of an obstacle is Obama's biracial background? That's hard to say in a society that long ago rendered "racist" to be as much of a taboo word among whites as the N-word is among blacks. As a result, a lot of us look for any sign of coded racial appeals and our imaginations run wild. Some see racism in the juxtaposition of two blondes Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in a McCain ad attacking Obama's "celebrity. Republican analyst David Gergen sees the "arrogant" charge against Obama as new racial code for the old-South label "uppity." It does have a familiar ring, doesn't it?
Reporter Amy Chozick in a Wall Street Journal essay stirred up a lot of pundit and blogger buzz by musing that Obama's skinny physique might be a disadvantage in our notoriously overweight nation. She cited a memo to reporters by McCain campaign manager Rick Davis. Explaining McCain's recent attack ad that tries to paint Obama as an empty-suit celebrity, Davis' memo mentions, "Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day." Gee, thanks for giving me a new excuse to skip my workout, Rick.
Smelling a rat or maybe fat Timothy Noah responded in the Web magazine Slate that skinniness might be a code word for black. "This physical attribute looms large in our nation's history as a source of prejudice," he writes. If so, I wonder if might there be new hope in the sex appeal department for us guys who sport Tony Soprano physiques? Somehow I think not.
Racist or not, we have learned this much from Obama's campaign: Any day in which race is the big topic of discussion is not a good day for Obama. His rapid rise benefited ironically from his ability to "transcend race," we have been told repeatedly. That's another way of saying that he seemed to offer Americans a way to reduce race to something that would not matter anymore. Americans want to believe that race doesn't matter and apparently we will only believe it if we hear a black person say it.
Race alone does not explain Obama's polling gap. Had Colin Powell run, with his military background and other experience, he would not have had the same problems persuading undecided voters that Obama has faced. Obama's best remedy may come from his choice of a running mate. I don't know whom he will pick, but I have a feeling that no skinny, black Harvard grads need apply. I'm sure they will understand why.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many 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.
© 2007, TMS
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K