Home
In this issue
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 Sept. 2, 2008 / 2 Elul 5768

GOP convention opens with a bang

By Roger Simon


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | ST. PAUL, Minn. — The big story on the first day of the Republican National Convention had nothing to do with politics. It had everything to do with sex, which some consider almost as exciting.


Everybody on and off the convention floor was chattering about how the 17-year-old daughter of John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is five months pregnant and unmarried.


And while being pregnant and unmarried is hardly a phenomenon in America these days, it was not supposed to be the major talking point of the convention's opening day.


The McCain campaign said it knew about the pregnancy of Bristol Palin before her mother was placed on the ticket, and campaign operatives were quick to spread the word that the whole matter makes the Palin family look even more "real" and even more committed in its opposition to abortion.


Bristol will not only have the baby, campaign operatives pointed out, but will marry the father of her child. Which is an example, they said, of American values.


"Life happens," McCain spokesman Steve Schmidt said.


"An American family," McCain strategist Mark Salter said.


Now if the campaign could just manage to arrange Bristol's marriage on stage at the convention, it might generate some much-needed positive buzz and a good photo op.


As it was, because of Hurricane Gustav, the opening day of the convention was purely procedural and very low energy.


The planned speeches of President Bush and Vice President Cheney had been canceled, though Laura Bush and Cindy McCain did briefly take the stage to conduct a mini-marathon to raise money for the victims of Gustav.


Nothing the least bit exciting was on the schedule, but virtually all the convention delegates dutifully showed up anyway. When Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican Party, gaveled the convention to order at 2:41 p.m. local time Monday, about 95 percent of the delegates were in their seats by my estimate. Duncan stood on a low, starkly bare stage, behind a wooden lectern that looked like it had been dragged in from the nearest hotel ballroom.


A week before, only about 10 percent of the delegates were on the floor when Howard Dean, the Democratic Party chairman, gaveled his convention to order in Denver. Clearly, Republicans, being more orderly, show up when they are supposed to show up even if there is no compelling reason for them to do so.


On the convention floor, McCain "whips" prowled around wearing yellow baseball caps and looking for something to do. In the old days, when conventions were real and not television events, whips were needed to keep the delegates in line during multiple ballots.


But multiple ballots have disappeared along with any real suspense at these conventions. The last time delegates failed to choose a nominee on the first ballot was in 1952, when Adlai Stevenson beat Estes Kefauver on the third ballot of the Democratic convention in Chicago.


So these days the main job of whips is to wear baseball caps. The utility of the nominees, themselves, however, has increased.


While John McCain expects to accept his nomination in person here on Thursday, it is not actually necessary. Until 1932, no nominee had ever appeared at a convention. It was considered vulgar and beneath the dignity of the office. But that year, Franklin D. Roosevelt shocked Democrats by flying from Albany, N.Y., to Chicago to accept the nomination and say: "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people."


The phrase caught on, and convention speeches by the nominee became a big deal.


McCain, who is far better at answering audience questions at town hall meetings than he is at giving formal speeches, faces a daunting task Thursday, especially after Barack Obama wowed a huge crowd in Denver last week.


But his aides say he is up to the task and unworried by any comparisons.


They also say the entire campaign is looking forward to having people talk about politics again instead of sex. If that is possible.

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


Comment on Roger Simon's column by clicking here.


Roger Simon Archives


© 2008, Creators Syndicate