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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 Oct. 4, 2012/ 18 Tishrei, 5773

Quips, slips and gaffes in presidential debates

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mitt Romney was 13 years old and Barack Obama had not been born when an energetic-looking John Kennedy, 43, and a tired-looking Richard Nixon, 47, walked into the WBBM-TV studio in Chicago for the first general election debate between presidential candidates.

It is generally held that television viewers felt Kennedy won the first debate, while those listening on radio, unaware of Nixon's improvised makeup, felt Nixon won.

That's probably overstated. Contemporary accounts suggest most viewers felt both candidates did well, while the single poll of radio listeners had a small sample possibly tilted toward pro-Nixon rural areas lacking TV reception.

There were three more Nixon-Kennedy debates that year and then no more until 1976. Since then, there have been 23 presidential debates and 8 vice presidential debates, with three more presidentials scheduled this year, starting tonight, and one more vice presidential.

Nixon and Kennedy debated in 1960 because they were running even in the polls and each thought he could benefit. They had offsetting advantages: Nixon was vice president in the popular Eisenhower administration, while Kennedy was the nominee of the party favored by most voters.

They each had a disadvantage as well, as relatively young men in a nation whose presidents over the preceding 18 years had been in their 60s or 70s.

The front-runners over the next 16 years saw no percentage in debating their opponents. In 1964 and 1972, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were overwhelming favorites and didn't want to give their opponents equal standing on a television set. And 1968 was a three-way race, in which Nixon initially led, but neither he nor Hubert Humphrey wanted to share the stage with the shrewd segregationist demagogue George Wallace.

In 1976 things were different. The incumbent president, Gerald Ford, was far behind in polls, and Democrats had a 2-1 lead in party identification. He could hope that his superior knowledge would shine against a former one-term governor of Georgia.

As for Jimmy Carter, he was still a relative unknown who needed to prove his gravitas. And he had great confidence in his debating abilities.

Ironically, it was Ford's blooper in the second of their three debates -- he denied there was "Soviet domination of Eastern Europe" -- that may have cost him the election.

Other debate gaffes have become famous over the years: Jimmy Carter citing his 13-year-old daughter's concern about nuclear proliferation in 1980; Dan Quayle comparing himself with John Kennedy in 1988; Al Gore's loud sighs and menacing body language in 2000.

Less well remembered were the steady performances by the two female VP nominees, Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008, neither of whom had much national political experience.

Well remembered are Ronald Reagan's quips. "There you go again!" he said good-naturedly when he was attacked by Jimmy Carter in 1980. And in 1984, when asked about his age, he casually replied, "I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." It worked because Walter Mondale was plainly mature and experienced.

That was when debates became institutionalized. Reagan, though far ahead in the polls, felt obliged to debate. In 1987, a presidential debates commission, chaired by former national party chairmen, was created. It's been setting the rules, subject to approval by the candidates, ever since.

Do debates make a difference? Maybe in 1960, maybe when Ford tripped up on Eastern Europe, maybe when Reagan asked if voters were better off than they were four years before.

Recent evidence seems more nuanced. Gallup polls before and after debates tell us that Bill Clinton lost ground in the 1992 debate period and gained some in 1996. George W. Bush picked up support in the 2000 debate period but slipped in 2004.

Barack Obama gained some ground during the 2008 debates, but it's not clear they had anything to do with his rise. They took place when the nation was passing through the financial crisis and John McCain's candidacy was spinning dizzily downward.

One reason debates matter, perhaps more than they once did, is that they are one of the few political events with a bipartisan audience.

This year's debates give Mitt Romney, narrowly behind in polls, a chance to make a case against Barack Obama and for his own policies. We'll see what he makes of it.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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