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 Jan. 31, 2007 / 12 Shevat, 5767

Hillary's failure to connect

By Jonah Goldberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A weird thing happened in Iowa this week. Hillary Clinton was campaigning for president — no, that's not the weird thing — and she paraphrased a question from the audience about what in her experience prepared her to deal with "evil and bad men." Before she could answer, the audience burst into laughter, and Clinton joined in.

It was such an awkward moment, much of the commentariat hasn't figured out exactly what to say about it, starting with Clinton herself. At first she tried to explain that she was thinking of Osama bin Laden and Bush's inability to capture him. Later, she claimed she was making a joke — just not about her husband.

From my own viewing of the video — you can find it on YouTube and elsewhere — Hillary wasn't making any joke at all. She was merely the butt of one and laughed along with the crowd — without getting the joke — in an excruciating "I meant to do that" sort of way.

When asked whether the joke was about Bill, she said, "Oh, come on. Well, I don't think anybody in there thought that." But of course everyone thought that. Liberal pundits, spinners and the audience members who talked to the press afterward all said that the unspoken punch line was Bill Clinton. The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes writes: "Several Democrats afterward said they interpreted her delivery as a charmingly funny allusion to her husband's past marital misbehavior."

If Hillary doesn't see that, she's a very bad politician indeed. And, truth be told, I think she is a bad politician in the sense that she is incapable of connecting with audiences the way, for example, her husband can. The most powerful emotional impression she makes on most people isn't compassion or warmth or sympathy — the hallmarks of a politician who's good in a room — but discipline. She comes across as stiffer than Trent Lott's hair and more tightly wound than a rubber-band ball. Even sympathetic reporters write about her as if her id were a tiny little general in an immense war room plotting every move on maps sprawled out in front of her. Clinton's inadvertent joke wasn't part of her plan, even though the audience in her town halls and Internet chat sessions is pre-selected. And when forced to explain something off-script, she wobbles like a tightrope walker who missed a step.

The amazing thing is that she gets away with this. Although everyone understands that Clinton takes positions on issues based on political calculation, it somehow doesn't count against her. A recent episode of "Saturday Night Live" captured the essence of Clinton nicely. "I think most Democrats know me," the fake Clinton told a fake Chris Matthews. "They understand that my support for the war was always insincere. Of course, knowing what we know now, that you could vote against the war and still be elected president, I would never have pretended to support it."

Hillary's is a very old act, and sometimes she doesn't even care that people know it's an act. She baked cookies as an ironic joke about her remark that she "could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas" instead of having a career.

In 1996, she floated the idea of adopting a child, presumably to soften her image. When her husband's campaign was over, the urge to adopt miraculously subsided. In 2000, she deftly boxed her Senate opponent, Rick Lazio, into seeming like a bully against the poor lady politician.

This victim pose remains incredibly useful for Senator Clinton and her fans. In 2003, when Clinton's memoir came out, "reporters" like Barbara Walters virtually produced infomercials in her honor. Clinton insisted that she wanted to put her husband's infidelities behind her and that she was dedicated to the issues. It was a masterful charade in which the Great Woman of Substance was forced, reluctantly, to talk about her humiliation at the hands of that charming rogue Bill as well as by those sexist cads of the Republican Right. But when the Washington Post tried to interview her about the substantive portions of her autobiography, she, according to the Post, "declined to be interviewed about the political content of her book." Catch that? She didn't decline to be interviewed. She merely declined to be interviewed about anything other than her role as "victim."

Clinton's "joke" will be forgotten in a few days, and rightly so. But in the bigger picture, the joke's on us.

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