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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 26, 2007 / 11 Menachem-Av, 5767

Baseball, apple pie, a 2nd chance

By Jonathan V. Last


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The only thing standing between Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democratic nomination is The Question. Its wording varies slightly, but the gist of it is this: Would you definitely not vote for Sen. Clinton for president in 2008?

The Question has been asked in polls for a long time, and the results are remarkably consistent. In January 2006, 51 percent of registered voters told Gallup that they "definitely will not vote" for Clinton. In June of 2006, a CNN poll of general respondents had the number at 47 percent. By March of 2007, the number dropped as low as 39 percent in a Harris poll, but by April, a Washington Post/ABC News poll had it back up at 45 percent. These responses to The Question have spooked many Democrats and provided the entire raison d'etre for the Barack Obama campaign.

I submit that this is all bunk; that the polls do not represent people's true feelings, and that should she be the Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be given a fair look by most of the electorate. I may not have fancy, scientific polling data to support this claim - apologies to Messrs. Harris and Gallup - but I do have Paris Hilton.

There is no more contemptible figure in American culture than young Miss Hilton. Callow and vulgar, she is half Marie Antoinette and half Lydia Bennet. She long ago surpassed fame and achieved ubiquity with a combination of wealth, ambition and tepid pornography.

Yet when Hilton was sent off to jail last month, she began a public transformation. She called Barbara Walters, claiming to have found God.

"I'm not the same person I was," she said. "I used to act dumb. It was an act. I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute. It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me. I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that. I have been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here. I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance."

As she left the big house, Hilton was peddling the same line, saying also that she's ready to start charity work and wants to build a "transitional home" for female ex-cons. This news has been met with surprisingly little mockery. And if the American people are willing to give Paris Hilton a second chance - bless their hearts - then do you really think they'll harden themselves to Hillary Rodham Clinton?

F. Scott Fitzgerald, right about so many other things, had it exactly wrong on the question of second acts in America. This is the land of second chances. Many of the first Americans were looking for a mulligan in life, of course. But even today, in nearly every facet of our culture, prominent people find it easy to recover the public's good graces.

Take Roman Polanski for a rather astounding example. Roman Polanski is no Paris Hilton. No merely obnoxious layabout he! No, he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977. There was some unpleasantness when he fled the country to avoid a trial, but he kept working and making movies, and by the time 2002 rolled around, people were cheering his best director win at the Academy Awards for his film "The Pianist."

Martha Stewart is no Roman Polanski. Her crimes were much less offensive, and after being released from jail in 2005, she jumped right back into a rewarding television career.

Michael Milken, the Junk Bond King of the 1980s, went to jail for insider trading, too. He emerged as a respected philanthropist with a foundation focused on education and cancer research.

Donald Trump never went to jail, but in the `80s he, too, was seen as one of the rapacious jackals getting fat off of junk bonds. People cheered his bankruptcy in 1991. Today he's a gruff-but-lovable personality, doing bits of kindly self-parody on television.

Remember when Bill Gates was America's Dr. Evil, trying to strong-arm plucky companies such as Netscape out of business while forcing the dreaded Windows 95 on the world? One semi-retirement and billions of dollars in charitable giving later, he's a saint.

Americans are at least as forgiving of their political figures. Al Sharpton slandered innocent police officers during the Tawana Brawley affair - yet he's still very much with us. West Virginia's Sen. Robert Byrd is solemnly invoked as "the conscience of the Senate" these days; in the 1940s, he was an Exalted Cyclops in the KKK. Strom Thurmond was an out-and-out racist, too; that is, until he became a lovable old coot. Ted Kennedy zipped past the small problem of Chappaquiddick almost as soon as it happened. He is, after all, a Kennedy.

And then there's Richard Nixon, who got a second chance twice. Hounded as Eisenhower's vice president, he lost the presidency to JFK in 1960 and then lost an ugly campaign for governor of California in 1962 - "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore," etc., etc.

But Americans gave him another chance and elected him president in 1968. Then they reelected him five months after the arrests at the Watergate. (Incidentally, two other Watergate figures, Chuck Colson and G. Gordon Liddy, enjoyed public redemption - Colson as the founder of the Christian ministry Prison Fellowship; Liddy as a radio talk-show host - after serving their prison terms.)

Surely there are exceptions. No one ever gave Fatty Arbuckle or O.J. Simpson second chances.

But what's the worst Hillary Rodham Clinton has done? She dissembled and viciously attacked those who proved her husband had committed perjury; she tried to impose socialized medicine without having been either elected or appointed to an office; and she leveraged a very strange marriage into a carpetbagging political career based solely on celebrity. Small beer!

If she becomes the Democratic nominee, voters will almost certainly give Hillary Rodham Clinton a second look, regardless of what they tell pollsters today. We're a nation of softies, yearning to see people redeem themselves. And it's this generosity of spirit that makes us great. Or, at the least, great big suckers. It depends on where you sit.

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.

Jonathan V. Last is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

07/24/07 Harry Potter and the alchemy theory
07/06/07 Life is hard — and often short. The perils of professional wrestling
06/21/07 After Bush: Gingrich and others worry that his shortcomings could have a far-reaching effect on the GOP
03/09/07 Why the British outclass us in acting
01/23/07 Romney: Seriously great, but with baggage
12/23/06 When truth is transpicuous
12/05/06 A realistic plan: Split the country in two
11/08/06 We could easily pull out of Korea and let China have regional hegemony. But would it be the right thing?
10/24/06 The decline of revolution
10/18/06 Why the free market is king
08/07/06 Democracy, of itself, not solution to all problems
08/01/06 We get the movies we deserve
07/27/06 How long will U.S. empire last?


© 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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