Wednesday, June 9, 2010

 

Obama and the Jewish Vote:* Roger L. Simon reports from the California Summer Bash (I think that's really what it's called) of the Republican Jewish Coalition:
I have been attending this annual RJC event for three years now. . . . I always asked essentially the same question: What’s the climate with your friends and relatives? Is everyone in your world (mishpocheh, in the parlance) still a knee-jerk liberal? Can you even speak to each other at the dinner table?

I always got basically the same response — a cynical shrug that signaled the old Yiddish expression “
Vat den?” (’twas ever thus).

But not last night. Almost uniformly the attendees to whom I asked this question responded differently. Yes, they said, things were changing. Their
mishpocheh – in the smaller and larger senses — were listening to them, not getting angry or walking away. Sometimes they just remained silent, but it was a thoughtful, worried silence. From what I could tell at the Beverly Hilton last night, the polls showing Jews deserting Obama were evidently not entirely apocryphal.

Most surprising to me were some words I exchanged with
Rep. Dan Lederman of the South Dakota House of Representatives. (I didn’t even know there were Jews in South Dakota.) Lederman told me of his recently making a speech strongly attacking Obama policies to an audience of seventy or so B’nai B’rith members in his neighboring Nebraska and not getting a peep of objection. This would have been unheard of a year ago.
Simon also spoke with Karl Rove, who "was more than guardedly optimistic, seeing the situation at this moment as a great opportunity for Jewish Republicans."

*Remind anyone else of the title of a Harry Potter book? Probably not.