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 July 24, 2007 / 9 Menachem-Av, 5767

The old appeal of the new

By Paul Greenberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The coming presidential election of '08 already seems old, and it's still '07. It's hard to work up an interest in the candidates, or — and this is really a sad sign of civic apathy — much antipathy toward any of them. Even the old Hillary-bashers don't seem to have their heart in it.


Long rows of candidates appear at forums, where they meld into one indistinguishable blob. Instead of judging the contenders by how they stand on the issues, or rather slouch, the whole lineup could be pretty much divided into three categories: dull, duller and dullest.


Maybe it's the unnaturalness of the early primaries next year that has drained the life out of this campaign. The primary-by-primary suspense of the traditional presidential marathon, beginning in little New Hampshire and working up to New York and California, has been lost. Who's gonna watch a whodunnit if the ending is revealed at the start?


But what's really killing interest in the Great Presidential Campaign and Anti-Climax of 2008 is the deadening familiarity of the candidates.


Look at the wooden parade of Democratic fixtures like Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd they all seem as thrilling as tapioca. Even a wild card like Dennis Kucinich, who used to seem strange, now seems only boring.


Ditto, Republicans like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, et forgettable al. Whether good candidates or not, the electorate knows them too well to get excited about them.


Maybe if the rest of the country knew who Mike Huckabee was, the way Arkansas has come to know him, this state's former governor might attract some attention. But the rest of the country doesn't — despite his wowing the late-night comics. Result: As a presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee is still the political equivalent of Unidentified Man in Background.


As an unacknowledged candidate for vice-president, however, the next Man from Hope (Ark.) is going great guns. It all depends on whether someone quite different from him in political appeal — Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney, say — snags the nomination. Then he'd offer the kind of political and social balance the GOP ticket would need next year, among a lot of other things.


Why do the familiar political figures have such a handicap in this approaching presidential election and endurance contest? Because this is still a young, dynamic country, and what it seems most drawn to is change. Good or bad, heroic as John McCain or irritating as Joe Biden, none of the above excite. Familiarity may not breed contempt exactly, but rather a lack of interest.


Even Hillary Clinton, who used to draw such strong reactions, positive and negative, now is starting to look like just another U.S. senator — Bill or no Bill at her side. By 2008, the question may not be whether she's Saint Hillary or Lady Macbeth, but who cares?


We Americans love a mystery. That's why we're drawn to the new and unfamiliar in cars, electronic gizmos and presidential candidates. We love the comer, the underdog, the longshot, the dark horse, the little-known entry on the outside rail. Which is why that kind of candidate may emerge from the pack and upset the long-established favorites.


It's not so much that we find fault with familiar leaders; we just grow tired of them. How many times can you be outraged by the Clintons or listen to John McCain advocate victory in Iraq?


So where's this year's Wendell Willkie, Jimmy Carter, James K. Polk, Ross Perot or Bill Clinton vintage 1992? That is, the kind of unknown, untested and soon enough unstoppable candidate who seems to come out of nowhere.


Whenever the country grows weary beyond words with the same old candidates mouthing the same old catch phrases, the electorate gravitates toward the new, the different, the fresh. What makes these new faces attractive is just that — they're new.



Just about everything else they taught us in Advertising 101 back at the University of Missouri may be dated now in this Age of the Internet, but one thing hasn't changed: Just about the most powerful word one can use in an ad is NEW. (The other sure-fire word to use in ad copy, we were told, is YOU. Sounds right. We Americans are nothing if not obsessed with ourselves.)


So long as Americans remain Americans, newness won't lose its appeal. Whether what's being sold is a kitchen appliance or a presidential candidate. We're gamblers at heart and in presidential politics.


That's why Barack Obama and Fred Thompson, two new faces in the presidential sweepstakes, could emerge as their respective parties' presidential nominees.


If they do, remember you saw it here first.


If they don't, forget I told you so.

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.

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.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles