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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 June 2, 2011 / 29 Iyar, 5771

Over-scrutinizing lives costs us potential leaders

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mitch Daniels would have added some much-needed substance to the national dialogue. His reason for not running for president is a sad commentary on the sideshow our elections have become.

I spoke with Indiana's popular chief executive last week. We discussed how he had turned a $200 million deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus without raising taxes. And how his insistence on drastic spending cuts had played a large part in Indiana's ability to avoid a dip into the red.

"All in all, it's a matter of matching means to ends, deciding what's most important, and doing less of the things that are secondary," he told me.

Some say Daniels doesn't have the personality for a national campaign. But I think he could have resonated with a national audience — especially in an election cycle in which some voters yearn for a competent fiscal manager.

Nonetheless, in an email last weekend, Daniels informed close associates that he wouldn't run.

"On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women's caucus, and there is no override provision," Daniels said in his statement, referring to his wife, Cheri, and their four daughters. "Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more."

Nobody seems to doubt the sincerity of that statement.

It would appear that the family veto was predicated upon concern over scrutiny that his marriage had begun to receive.

After filing for divorce in 1993, Cheri Daniels moved to California and married another man, while Mitch Daniels and the couple's daughters remained in Indiana. After the second marriage ended, Cheri returned in 1997 and remarried Mitch. Questions about the episode prompted Daniels to release a second statement specifically addressing the media scrutiny of his marital history.

"The notion that Cheri ever did or would 'abandon' her girls or parental duty is the reverse of the truth and absurd to anyone who knows her, as I do, to be the best mother any daughter ever had," he said.

The mere release of such a statement shows just how aware of the burgeoning controversy the Danielses had become despite its irrelevancy to his governing. Whatever the circumstances behind it, that mid-'90s separation had no bearing on Daniels' ability to restore fiscal stability in the Hoosier State. Indeed, there has been no whiff of impropriety during his administration.

Maybe the lesson, then, is to stop being so puritanical when it comes to political introspection.

And, yes, I'm also thinking of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Make no mistake: The Governator did wrong. No one can fault Maria Shriver for leaving him.

But how many times have we heard that a politician's personal failings indicate a likelihood that he or she will also do wrong on the taxpayers' dime? That certainly would have been the argument made by Schwarzenegger's political opponents had this news broken before he ran for governor.

But would it have been true?

Schwarzenegger is clearly a flawed man whose public record is mixed at best. But I am unaware of any charge of serious ethical impropriety during his tenure. There's an argument to be made that his extramarital dalliances had no bearing on his ability to do the job he was elected to do and, therefore, had no place earning such widespread media attention.

One wonders if all this rubbernecking is causing competent individuals with supposed personal baggage to forgo running for office, thus depriving the taxpayers of potentially effective representatives.

The irony is that boorish personal behavior among the political elite may be fueled by the same personality traits that voters consistently seek out in elected officials.

Frank Farley, professor of psychology at Temple University and a former president of the American Psychological Association, believes that many of the factors that make for a successful politician — most significant, a predisposition toward risk-raking — also lead those individuals to behave badly in their personal lives.

Farley says these individuals have a "type T personality" — the T stands for thrill. They're drawn to unpredictable, high-profile, challenging jobs, making politics the perfect career. According to Farley, the very qualities that persuade voters that type T's are best-suited for that business — independent streak, strong will, magnetic personality — can also drive personal misbehavior.

"Personal infidelities should be at least one consideration in our thinking about public leadership despite 1/8the fact3/8 that some of our greatest leaders have shown such behaviors," Farley told me in an e-mail. "A legitimate question can be raised about a leader's moral authority in the face of such behavior."

That's true. I'm not excusing politicians' immoral behavior, or saying it's OK for elected officials' personal lives to be in constant disarray. And, of course, if a private failing leads a public figure to commit a crime or directly inhibits his or her ability to do complete a job, that individual must be held accountable.

But settling a private matter that has no impact on the job at hand should be left to members of the politician's household, not to the staff or reporters in the statehouse.

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.

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Previously:


04/19/11 Taking a chance to say, ‘Hi’
04/06/11 Race policies should be altered to reflect new demographic reality
11/10/10 Delaware's independent, but short-lived, voice
11/03/10 Papers should leave endorsing to others
10/21/10 Media help to hype perception of bullying
09/23/10 Officer down, killer hyped up
08/04/10 Documents highlight Pakistan's shortcomings as a U.S. ally
07/06/10 On taking back Sept. 11
06/29/10 Name elite corps to develop energy independence?
04/21/10 New account reinforces a serviceman's valor
03/11/10 Medical profession must police itself better
02/18/10 One-trick athletes
02/09/10 Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists
02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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