Home
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 June 8, 2008 / 5 Sivan 5768

Eclipsed by the Adventures of Hillary

By David Broder


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's pretty obvious what was the most overhyped political story of the past week. The honors clearly go to the Hillary Clinton drama: Will she stand down? Will she endorse? Will she deign to accept the vice presidency? Will she join a monastic order and move to a commune? What a lot of nonsense.


It was always a certainty that this accomplished Democratic pol would do what was in her own and her party's interests, namely, by behaving like the pro she is and thereby preserving her career options. There was never a chance she would go to Denver to launch a futile challenge; nor would she sulk and let herself be the scapegoat if Barack Obama loses.


Because the Clinton speculation consumed so much of the oxygen, a genuinely important development drew much less sustained attention than it deserves. I am referring to the challenge from John McCain to Barack Obama to hold a series of 10 joint town meetings starting this month and continuing perhaps until Election Day.


Bypassing the TV networks, the presidential debate commission and all the other muckety-mucks who have seized control of the campaign dialogue, McCain simply dropped the newly nominated Obama a note saying, in effect, let's get it on.


The Obama camp said it found the notion "appealing," and with that, what may be the largest step toward improving the content of the presidential election became a genuine possibility.


Ever since Jerry Ford, that good man, as an incumbent president challenged Jimmy Carter to debate in 1976, we have institutionalized a small number of debates — or really joint news conferences — between the major candidates. The first such debates were held in 1960, under a law that allowed the networks to sponsor them without providing equal time for minor candidates. The country was captivated by the Kennedy-Nixon encounters. But Lyndon Johnson was nowhere near that generous to Barry Goldwater; Richard Nixon stiffed his opponent in 1968 and 1972, and the debates might well have disappeared had Ford not emerged from his convention trailing Jimmy Carter — and in need of the image of bravado communicated by his decision to be the first incumbent president to enter a television debate.


Most years, the autumn debates were the main events of the campaign, drawing the largest audiences and having the maximum impact. But over time, these debates have become more and more ritualistic and less and less useful to voters.


The candidates rehearse so intensely, calculating what topics are likely to be raised and delivering their answers so often that they seem scripted. Campaign aides critique each run-through, suggesting words or phrases that "test" the best.


The stakes are so high that all the life and spontaneity are drained out of the occasion; often, irrelevancies — Al Gore sighing or George H.W. Bush glancing at his watch — dominate any of the substance.


There is no guarantee that the new town meetings will avoid these dangers. But I think the odds are that they will be better. Having so many of them will reduce the stakes for each one. Starting them early will also make them more manageable. Keeping the format simple, as McCain suggests, will also help. Encouraging the candidates to talk directly with each other, and with the voters who put questions to them, will help keep the dialogue fresh and the exchanges pointed.


You can't avoid some showmanship and some rehearsed zingers. But given the personalities and character of these two candidates, it is very likely that a lot of what we would see would be the genuine beliefs of these two men, expressed in their own words.


And what a marvelous precedent that would set for future years, when one or the other of the candidates — likely the incumbent president — would try to avoid early and frequent debates.


This simple-sounding idea, which stirred no great excitement last week, could turn out to be one of the best things to happen to our politics maybe since the enfranchisement of women. Too bad it was eclipsed by the Adventures of Hillary.

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.



To comment, please click here.



Previously:

06/02/08: Obama in retreat
06/02/08: Reality vs. the Mythmakers
05/29/08: Hamilton Jordan's Message to Obama
05/27/08: Let the Veepstakes Begin
05/19/08: The mental exercise of placing Obama in the Oval Office requires more imagination than did moving Reagan from the silver screen to Pennsylvania Ave.
05/15/08: For Obama, a Lost Moment
05/12/08: The price of delay
05/08/08: Phoniness and inevitability
05/05/08: Winning by destruction: An insider reveals the Hillary game plan
05/01/08: Candidates' high-mindedness is rooted in religiosity; but Hillary and McCain don't have hater as inspiration


© 2008, by WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles