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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 July 24, 2008 / 21 Tamuz 5768

Obama's success abroad was pure luck

By David Broder


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It made no sense when Barack Obama left the country on his nine-day overseas tour for some of my fellow columnists to describe it as a high-risk venture.


Foreign leaders, who can read the polls as well as anyone, would go out of their way not to embarrass a man who may, six months from now, be president of the United States.


Obama prepares thoroughly for the big occasions. He is almost always well briefed, and he was traveling in sharp company — with Sens. Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel — so you knew he would be ready for these meetings. The chance of a major screw-up was minimal.


And as millions of Americans who watched the primary campaign learned, Obama is invariably articulate. There would be no verbal gaffes.


So where was the risk? It existed mainly in the minds of some journalists and, perhaps, in the musings of Obama staffers who wanted to hype the journey.


Acknowledging all that, it is still the case that Obama is pulling off this trip in great style and thereby has enhanced his Oval Office credentials.


What he could not have counted on is the role that luck has played in the events that have surrounded the tour and in the actions of a cast of supporting players. When, on the first day of the trip, Obama stepped onto a basketball court at the air base in Kuwait and sent his first three-point shot cleanly through the basket, you knew that the gods had decided to favor him.


He could not have known in advance that on the very day he left Chicago, President Bush would suddenly reverse six years of policy and send a high-ranking State Department official off to a meeting with Iranian and European nuclear negotiators.


He could not have guessed that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, eager to promise his constituents that the American occupation would not be endless, would persuade Bush to declare agreement to "a time horizon" for the departure of U.S. troops.


And he could not have assumed that a Maliki spokesman, briefing reporters on the prime minister's meeting with Obama, would volunteer the comment that "the end of 2010 is the appropriate time for the withdrawal" of U.S. troops.


Suddenly, long-standing Obama policies — direct talks with Iran and a 16-month timetable for withdrawal — seemed to be ratified by events.


So it was a confident and contented Obama who faced reporters Tuesday in Jordan for his first news conference of the trip. He handled the expected question about his meeting with Gen. David Petraeus by saying he perfectly understood the U.S. commander's opposition to any timetable that would limit his options, but that as commander in chief, he, Obama, would weigh Iraq's needs against those in Afghanistan — and also against the interests of the domestic economy.


It was a skillful answer, not rejecting Petraeus's views but asserting a president's own larger responsibility.


On the other hand, his saying that there was no way to know what would have happened in Iraq if the United States had followed his advice to start the withdrawal of troops two years ago rather than embarking on the "surge" seemed disingenuous. Obama still has trouble admitting when he is wrong.


But his troubles are minimal compared with those of John McCain, who looks like the odd man out in the ongoing foreign policy debate. Having given steadfast support to the policies of both Maliki and George Bush, he has a legitimate complaint: They owed him more consideration in the way they announced their shifts. As it is, McCain appears isolated from trends in both Baghdad and Washington.


McCain's frustration at the turn of events is something he cannot conceal. The domestic economy was always going to be a problem for him — even before gasoline hit $4 a gallon. But he had a credible position to argue on national security issues and a record that was consistent and in some respects prescient.


But now the ground has shifted — and his opponent was right where he needed to be to capture the advantage. July has been a cruel month for McCain.

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.



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Previously:

07/21/08: Obama's success abroad was pure luck
07/17/08: Governors offer real world wisdom. Obama and McCain would be wise to listen
07/14/08: Foes and allies strive to peg a shifty Obama
07/10/08: Fixing How We Go to War
07/07/08: Decider on the High Court
07/03/08: One Nation No More? Civics Needs a Boost, but Our Identity Endures
06/30/08: Dumbing Down the Presidency
06/26/08: Voting's Neglected Scandal
06/23/08: Why don't we know what makes Obama tick?
06/19/08: Foreign Policy's Best Hope
06/16/08: Perot, Back On the Charts
06/16/08: The Many Gifts of Tim Russert
06/12/08: Why Hillary played the womyn card
06/08/08: Eclipsed by the Adventures of Hillary
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

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