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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 June 11, 2008 / 8 Sivan 5768

No longer a bankrupt political joke but still overshadowed

By Michael Gerson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the genuine historical miracle of Barack Obama — it was only 43 years ago, half a historical eye-blink, when African American voting rights remained unsecured — the political and personal miracle of John McCain has been largely overshadowed.


A year ago this summer, the McCain campaign was a bankrupt political joke; the political class only mentioned it to speculate when it would be mercifully euthanized.


What followed was one of the most improbable comebacks of American political history. The electoral stars aligned into a powerful, unpredicted syzygy: The surge in Iraq worked, the immigration issue faded, the conservative movement did not coalesce around a single opponent. McCain won by shedding his early, bloated campaign structure and emphasizing his own large personality.


The style and approach of general election campaigns are often conditioned by the method of victory in the primaries. The Obama team ends the season like a battle-worn Army division — organized, relentless and skilled at fundraising, registering voters and getting them to the polls. Members of the McCain team feel more like survivors of a near-death experience — convinced that the virtues of their candidate and the blessings of the political gods matter more than the money, phone banks and door-knocking of traditional politics.


This worries some Republican strategists. One recently described the McCain campaign to me as the political equivalent of a Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland movie: Every morning a few guys get together and say, "Let's put on a show!" McCain's state campaign organizations, coalition outreach and get-out-the-vote efforts are weak or nonexistent. But McCain campaign officials are convinced that they will win — if they win — in a different manner from that of the methodical Bush campaigns of 2000 and 2004. McCain will either catch fire, or he won't — and traditional efforts to boost turnout, in this view, are not likely to make the difference. Given its history, the McCain campaign is understandably proud of its stripped-down, seat-of-the-pants, insurgent style. But it may eventually be useful to have a serious campaign organization in, say, Colorado.


The personal miracle of McCain's presidential run is even more extraordinary. It is obvious — and therefore often unstated — that the journey from a 4-by-6-foot Viet Cong cell to the 36-by-29-foot Oval Office would be unprecedented. It would be as though George Washington were captured by the British, who snapped his legs in a torture cell; or Ulysses Grant were nearly starved to death at Andersonville Prison; or Dwight Eisenhower had been interrogated and beaten by the Gestapo in a German stalag. All three, I imagine, would have been honorable, defiant and arrogant enough to survive. But McCain has proved it.


McCain's experience, unlike some war stories, grows more shockingly impressive upon examination. Physical courage and mental toughness may not be requirements for the presidency, but they are at least as relevant as service in the Illinois legislature. And McCain's election as president would, in its own way, be historic — finally and fully honoring the lessons of heroism that came out of America's conflicted experience of Vietnam.


All these experiences, political and personal, have created a unique candidate — a man more driven by instincts of honor than ideology, predisposed to believe in his own virtue, equally predisposed to confuse opposition with dishonor. At its worst, this approach has alienated many of his Senate colleagues, and it reportedly led McCain to the brink of leaving the Republican Party in 2001, more out of pique than principle. At its best, this approach has seemed like a populist, reform-minded conservatism, aimed at breaking up concentrated, selfish interests that threaten the public good — from his campaign against big tobacco, to his anger at inflated corporate salaries, to his disgust with congressional earmarks and pork-barrel spending, to his support for increased automobile fuel efficiency standards and a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions.


Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution calls McCain's policy agenda "a promiscuous heap of interesting ideas that will not cohere in one administration" — a judgment some Republicans share. Up to this point in the campaign, the charge has not been much of a problem — in this environment, a reliable, robotic Republican of the Romney sort would be nowhere near Obama in the polls.


But the personality- and destiny-driven McCain campaign of the primaries is reaching its natural limits. Eventually, a presidential campaign needs a national organization. And eventually, McCain must define McCainism.


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.

Comment on Michael Gerson's column by clicking here.



Previously:


04/23/08: McCain's anger management
04/10/08: A Country for Old Men
03/06/08: Does the America Need a Hug?
03/06/08: Obama's First 100 Days
02/29/08: Words Aren't Cheap
02/22/08: He Said, They Said
02/20/08: Dying silently in Zimbabwe
02/15/08: Hillary's Unappealing Path
02/13/08: NATO's Afghan Stumbles
02/08/08: Why McCain Endures
02/06/08: One surge that led to another
02/01/08: In North Korea, Process Over Progress
01/30/08: Compassionate to the end


© 2008, WPWG

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