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