In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 April 30, 2008 / 25 Nissan 5768

Mister Beautiful

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ever notice how Barack Obama handles a question from a real person, as opposed to one of us annoying media types? Even a question that challenges his position? It's a thing of beauty.

Watch him at one of his forums. He listens patiently, nods his head sympathetically, and seems to share his questioner's point of view. He identifies.

He then begins his answer by restating the question, often enough in more persuasive form than the original. He doesn't so much entertain a question as improve it.

Only after he has established a bond between himself and his critic does he present his own, different point of view, carrying the questioner and the rest of the audience with him every respectful step of the way. Soon it's his critic who is nodding sympathetically, understandingly. Barack Obama has made another friend and supporter.

This is the approach he adopted to address the G-d-damn-America rhetoric of his old pastor — and rise above it. By the time he was finished, he'd actually turned a political embarrassment to his advantage in what soon became known as The Speech, an instant classic of American rhetoric.

If Barack Obama ever tires of his day job, he'd make a good editorial writer, for he has grasped the essence of the assignment: Appeal to the community's own standards, and at the same time raise them. It's called raising the level of public discourse, and it should be the end of every exercise in rhetoric. It's quite a trick, but Sen. Obama has mastered it when dealing with the issues.

It's when the talented Mr. Obama takes to analyzing people the same way he does issues, like some social scientist weighing us in the balance, that he gets into trouble. Real trouble. As he did when he analyzed the benighted inhabitants of deepest, darkest Pennsylvania during a private fund-raiser — in mod San Francisco, of all unfortunate places. That's when he committed the following masterpiece of two-bit psychology:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and . . . the jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing's replaced them. ... It's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

It was a revealing comment — not about people in small-town Pennsylvania and their counterparts all across America, but about Barack Obama. It revealed him as another smooth talker as glib as he is condescending. Note the way he just threw religion in there as one more harbor for America's disgruntled along with guns, opposition to free trade, anti-immigrant feelings....

Barack Obama's was an off-the-cuff analysis of those of us not as sharp and well adjusted and successful as he is. That is, the pitiful rest of us. It's the kind of attitude that has made the very word "liberal" odious in American politics, so much so that many liberals have stopped describing themselves as such, and started calling themselves progressives.

If there was a point in this campaign when the Obama magic cracked, that was it. Suddenly we saw an empty young man unscarred by age or experience or any great failure in life. This campaign's Golden Youth seemed blissfully unschooled by the best of teachers — a great failure.

The trouble with the senator's revealing comment in San Francisco was that it reduced rhetoric in its best sense — an appeal to common memory and shared values — to something else: cold, clever analysis. He'd severed the bond of community he'd been so good at establishing. He let the circle be broken.

Whatever he was saying in public, here Barack Obama was in private referring to us as Them, talking about how They feel, and what values They were clinging to for comfort. We had become just specimens under his microscope. And his oh-so-deep analysis of us? Poor creatures, we're just taking out our frustrations when we embrace, say, our faith. Maybe that sort of thing goes over in San Francisco; it doesn't in America.

There had been signs earlier in this campaign of the distance between Barack Obama and We the People he seeks to represent. As when he was campaigning in Iowa as if it were Zabar's. ("Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they're charging a lot of money for this stuff.") Goodness, is there a single Whole Foods anywhere between Dubuque and Sioux City?

He sounded out of his territory, like a Cub fan slumming in Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox. When the Sox are having a good year, tourists from the city's fashionable northern suburbs may brave the South Side to see how the game is really played. One year, when fortune's favored motored down from ivy-covered Wrigley Field in their Jaguars and insufferable little Lacoste polo shirts, they were greeted by a huge banner unfurled from the cheap seats: YUPPIE SCUM GO HOME.

The moral of the story: If a Democratic presidential candidate hopes to mobilize the core of the old Roosevelt Coalition, aka Reagan Democrats, he better not get caught exchanging class cliches with his rich buds in San Francisco. Overheard in that upscale setting, Mister Beautiful didn't sound so beautiful any more.

Back in the Iowa primary, which now seems years ago, Barack Obama's arugula comment could be seen as just a slip, an understandable gaffe on the part of a stranger in a strange land. But now one begins to wonder if it wasn't part of a pattern, and if America itself isn't a strange land to this elegant young stranger. Surely not. Surely he knows this country better than that. Or will pretend to.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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