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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 August 29, 2008 / 28 Menachem-Av 5768

Bill Clinton a Little Slippery on Whether Obama Is Ready to Be Commander-in-Chief

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The 42nd president of the United States spoke to the 46th Democratic National Convention for 20 minutes last night, 10 minutes more than his allotted time. But did anyone expect Bill Clinton to conclude on time? And did anyone in the crowd, even those few in the press corps firmly opposed to the Democrats, want it to end more than a minute or two earlier (as they wanted his 1988 nominating speech for Michael Dukakis to end 20 minutes earlier)? Bill Clinton was obviously having glorious fun in the spotlight for his sixth Democratic National Convention. And, more than Hillary Clinton in her speech the night before, he did the job that the Obamaites wanted the Clintons to do. Even so, when you examine his exuberant speech and try to scoop up the substance, you end up (mostly) with quicksilver.


He who frames the issues tends to determine the outcome of the election. Here's how Bill Clinton framed the issues: The next president's task is "to rebuild the American Dream and restore America's standing in the world." And John McCain, Clinton said, after hailing him for his heroism, "still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and Congress." That is the philosophy, presumably, of the unnamed Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George Bush. (My U.S. News colleague Liz Halloran pointed out to me that Clinton never mentioned Bush 43 by name; I noticed, as I reviewed the text after Clinton spoke, that he doesn't mention the name of any Republican at all.)


Clinton is capable of providing a thoughtful analysis of domestic policy, but this was not the time and place for that. Instead, he presented a selective litany of statistics, as politicians routinely do, to show that things were wonderful when his side was in office and awful when the other side is in. And then he said simply, "America can do better than that. And Barack Obama will." Convention watchers still await anything more than a cursory description of Obama's domestic policies. Perhaps we'll get more in Invesco Field.


Clinton's assigned subject was national security, and he spent most of his time on it. He credits Obama with "a remarkable ability to inspire people," "a clear grasp of foreign policy, and a firm commitment to repair our badly strained military." His background gives him "a unique capacity" to "restore our leadership in an ever more interdependent world." Clinton applauds Obama for selecting Joe Biden for vice president (a choice he didn't make himself) and then in effect concedes that Biden brings qualities to the administration that Obama lacks. "With Joe Biden's experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama's proven understanding, insight, and good instincts, America will have the national security leadership we need."


And what will they do?


"Work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries." Of course every president wants to do that. And the current president has recently found himself facing friendlier foreign leaders in France, Italy, and Germany than he did a few years ago.


"Rebuild our frayed alliance and revitalize . . . international institutions." I'm not sure our alliances are "frayed." In fact, intelligence cooperation with France, to take a notable example, has been consistently good since Sept. 11, 2001. As for aid in military efforts, with the exception of Britain and France, few nations have significant out-of-area military capacities. Some, from Australia to Estonia, punch above their demographic weight. But others, like Germany, impose rules of engagement that prevent their troops from fighting. Barack Obama in his Berlin speech called for such countries to do more; that was one part of the speech which didn't get much praise from the Europeans.


"Put us back in the forefront of the world's fight to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to stop global warming." We are in the forefront of that fight — Obama praises the long-ongoing Nunn-Lugar programs — and the international organizations Clinton praised are in some cases more hindrance than help. As for global warming, carbon emissions have declined more in the United States than in most of the European nations that ratified the Kyoto Protocol.


"Will continue and enhance our nation's global leadership in . . . the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria." The word "enhance" is a handsome tribute (which probably went right over the heads of almost everyone in the audience) to the work George W. Bush has done in vastly expanding these programs beyond what was done in the Clinton administration.


"He will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort." This repeats the canard that the Bush administration rushed to war in Iraq; in fact there was much diplomacy, in the United Nations and beyond, and more than 30 allies joined us in enforcing the 18 U.N. resolutions that Iraq defied. I suppose you could argue that he should have waited longer and that therefore taking military action in March was not a "last resort."


Altogether, it's a list of things every president would do or of things that the current and previous administrations have tried to do and found that others will not cooperate.


As I was listening to Clinton's speech, without the text, I felt that he was saying that Obama was capable of being commander in chief. He does say, in the middle of the speech, "Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States." But he's a little more slippery on commander in chief. He notes that, in 1992, he won when "the Republicans said I was too young and inexperienced to be commander in chief. Sound familiar? It didn't work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won't work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history."


The crowd loved just about all of it, needless to say. Bill Clinton is a master of seeming to say what he doesn't exactly say.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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