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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 Aug 13, 2012 / 25 Menachem-Av, 5772

'Boring' running mate could be good for Romney

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With Mitt Romney’s announcement that Paul Ryan will be his running mate, we finally can extricate ourselves from one of the sillier debates and put to rest the narrative of the benighted “boring white guy (BWG).”

BWG, which prompts about 17 million Google links, is the thing that Romney had to avoid at all costs, according to the Consensus, which consists of 20 or 30 pundits, all of whom seem to hook themselves up to the same dream in which the thought was implanted: “A boring white guy will doom Romney.”

They scrambled to their keyboards: Romney already has the BWG vote wrapped up, they intoned. He needed to show the electorate that he’s willing to be “bold,” that he has “vision,” that he’s “likable” and, pause for meaningful throat-clearing, that he “gets it.”

Gets what? That the American electorate is so daft that anyone with a certain skin tone or ethnic background or who isn’t boring is a better candidate than one who is: male, Caucasian and someone who doesn’t have a clue who the father of Snooki’s baby is, or for that matter, who Snooki is?

It’s difficult to glean who exactly birthed the anti-BWG trope, but my guess would be a self-loathing BWG. Meanwhile, what exactly is a BWG, and why would he be bad for Romney and presumably the country? Do we really need a cool, with-it, popularity-contest winner who’s all about the buzz? No inference intended.

This conversation stemmed from the assumption that a vice-presidential pick must be, if not helpful in ensuring votes from his/her home state, at least a symbolic statement about the person running for president. In fact, we know that the choice doesn’t really matter much. Historically VP picks are worth a net of about two percentage points in their home states, according to Nate Silver, who interprets American life statistically on the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog.

Nevertheless, some political analysts had been insisting that Romney should go with someone like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to secure the Sunshine State’s Latino vote. Rubio, of course, is of Cuban descent and is therefore Not White. But he is boring by the media’s definition — a pro-life, red-meat-eating, tea-party conservative who makes Romney look like, well, okay, the Fonz.

In other words, Rubio, for all his presumed Latino pizazz, is in reality a boring white-ish guy who speaks excellent Spanish. Even considering his appeal and political talents, his selection would have been viewed as transparent pandering to a demographic whose members for some reason are believed to care only about the status of “undocumented workers” of similar heritage.

The other relatively bold, anti-BWG pick would have been a woman, though Condi Rice — the GOP’s straight flush — declined all overtures. Other Republican women either aren’t (yet) quite right or are paying for the sins of John McCain. So Palin-averse are Republicans these days (how’s that winky-blinky thingy workin’ for ya?) that they’d sooner skip over Margaret Thatcher than risk the wrong woman.

This left Romney with allegedly sensible and safe choices that are deficient in exciting pigmentation and/or demographic sex appeal. Is Ryan too boring and too white? Only if you’re a superficial moron, which apparently is how many political strategists and commentators view most Americans. Check-boxing our way to idiocracy is a sad exit for a country where statesmen once roamed and the nation’s identity was simply American.

Romney-Ryan is a ticket that says the GOP is all about the economy. This is where Romney has wanted to keep the conversation — away from divisive social issues and on jobs. Whether Democrats allow him to stay on that message is doubtful given that social issues are the best ammunition the Obama campaign has to pull independents away from Romney.

This tactic won’t be for naught. The problem with today’s GOP isn’t that it is the party of boring white guys. The problem is that the party has allowed itself to be defined by a certain faction that insists on purity pledges that preclude the kind of flexibility shifting circumstances sometimes warrant. Change isn’t always good, clearly, but rigidity can be equally damaging and alienating.

There are doubtless plenty of “boring” African Americans, Latinos and even young voters who would vote for Romney-Ryan if the Republican leadership in the next few weeks can present a cogent, comprehensible plan to improve the lives of broad swaths of Americans who have little faith in the future. A nation jumpy with anxiety could stand a little boring for a change — and maybe even a little hope.

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