In this issue

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

How Obama can win

By Dick Morris & Eileen Mc Gann

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Most aspiring presidents and prime ministers face a myriad of challenges as they embark on their journey. Issue controversies, questions about ethics or past conduct, wounds within the party all raise their heads and confront the candidate. But the doubts Barack Obama faces are far more existential than the more superficial questions raised about most candidates. They go to his very core as a person and call into question his values, his worldview, and even his patriotism.

Hard racial divisions have softened in America but fear of the "other" persists. Their possible next president has a strange name. He grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia. He had a Muslim Kenyan father who left when he was a baby. He made his political career in the cesspool of American politics — the traditionally corrupt Chicago Democratic machine. His pastor of twenty years after whose sermons he entitled his book seems to hate white people in general and America in particular (despite getting $15 million in federal funding for his church). His wife says she is now proud of America for the first time in her adult life — and she's in her mid forties. He is a bit of a reach for the average American voter.

If he were white, with similar associations, he would be suspect. But he comes from a world few white voters know or understand and the fear lingers that he is some kind of latter-day Manchurian candidate, a sleeper agent, poised to take control of the United States government.

What makes all this particularly difficult to fathom is that Barack Obama is a mild mannered intellectual, with a marvelous sense of poise and decorum, who handles himself eloquently and with dignity and comes to politics with a style and grace we have not seen since JFK. His pedigree includes Columbia University and Harvard Law where he was editor of the Law Review. He taught constitutional law. In his manner and his appearance he is as far from his controversial background and associates as one could possibly imagine.

But this disjuncture between who he appears to be and who his background and associations suggest he might be is so profound that it leads to the most basic of doubts and worries among American voters.

Hillary Clinton always has been the bÍte-noir to blue collar, downscale, American men. But they lined up at the polls to vote for her, so deep was their fear of who Obama might turn out to be. Their inveterate sexism was no match for their racial fears, ignited by the questions surrounding Obama.

But none of these questions is of Obama's own making. In two years of campaigning, in an environment in which waking moment is filmed and recorded, he has never uttered a single word to lend credence to those who imagine him to be an alien figure. He has been consistently classy and almost boringly straight as he has campaigned. The worst one could say about him is that he is a Hamlet-like intellectual who is often subject to paralysis by analysis.

To win, Obama must reach down deep and dispel the doubts people hold about him. So far, he has avoided inflaming them and taken great care not to lend them any credibility from his own statements or positions. Now, he must go further and reassure voters who want to believe him, but are afraid.

Is America ready for a black president? Hell yes it is. Obama's triumphs in states where there are virtually no blacks attests to it. Until Rev. Jeremiah Wright opened his mouth, the candidate was sweeping white voters. Even when the black community discovered Obama and abandoned their historical affection for the Clintons, the white electorate refused to polarize along racial lines and Obama consistently won about half of the white vote. But when Wright spoke, he send a shiver of fear down the nation's collective spine and millions of voters who wanted to back Obama, needed to vote Democrat, and hated George Bush, abandoned the black candidate out of fear.

To blow away this miasma of doubt will not be easy. Obama, a private person who dislikes emotional displays in public, will have to speak from the heart about what America means to him. He will have to embrace our national sense of uniqueness and give voice to what Ronald Reagan said of us: "You can call it mysticism if you want to, but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage." American exceptionalism is deeply rooted in our national consciousness and it has been so offended by Rev. Wright's characterization of the United States as a terrorist nation, a force of evil in the world, that Obama must assuage that hurt if he wishes to appease our fears.

While the United States has always worked to keep church separate from our government, there has always been a kind of civil religion in America which speaks to our values and mission in the world. The president of the United States is the high priest of that religion and it is up to him to give it voice and apply it to the challenges that pop up in our path. Obama must make it clear to his countrymen that he subscribes to that faith and can pick up his duties as high priest. He needs to articulate the national narrative

I doubt that this election will be close. Either Obama or McCain will probably win it in a landslide, depending on whether or not Obama can fulfill his existential mission of explaining to the American people who he really is.

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.

JWR contributor Dick Morris is author, most recently, of "Fleeced: How Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies ... Are Scamming Us ... and What to Do About It". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.

Dick Morris Archives

© 2008, Dick Morris