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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 Feb. 19, 2008 / 13 Adar I 5768

Obama sounds good, but words aren't enough

By James Klurfeld


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Watch out, Barack Obama. You've hit the magic tipping point. After winning the Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia primaries, you are now the front-runner. It doesn't mean that the nomination is yours, not by a long shot in this kind of competitive race. But you've got more delegates than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And now the press is going to come after you.

I admire much of what Sen. Obama has to say. And he says it so well. But the journalist in me still feels there are questions that have not been asked, let alone answered.

First and foremost, just how is Obama going to bring the country together and find common ground on the substantive issues that have so divided it for almost three decades? Just saying you want to bring people together isn't sufficient. Where is the common ground on giving women the right to choose versus embracing the right-to-life argument? How do you pull troops out of Iraq without re-energizing al-Qaida or compromising the gains from the surge? How will you reduce the cost of health care to make it more affordable, when the medical inflation rate has been at least twice that of the general inflation rate? And how do you convince Americans that some taxes might have to be raised to pay for universal access to health care or to make Social Security and Medicare solvent for the next generation?

We here in New York have been scarred by the experience of Gov. Eliot Spitzer. He came into office as the great, new hope, vowing to change the way things were done in Albany, and he's run into a stone wall. His surprising lack of political finesse has been a huge disappointment. Remember the crushed promise of Jimmy Carter? Good intentions aren't enough. And, by the way, the comparison of Obama to John F. Kennedy makes me uncomfortable. JFK's record was poor in his approximately 1,000 days.

I understand that the Spitzer analogy might not be valid. He took the steamroller approach, and Obama says he'll be a conciliator. But you know what? Sen. Clinton has been a very effective cloakroom player in the Senate. She's demonstrated her political touch in surprising ways, working with former political enemies to craft legislative compromises. Her reputation as a polarizing figure isn't fair.

There's one school of political thought that believes that if you're really going to be a change agent, you have to be ready to go to political war, not be a compromiser. In fact, the question is whether there really is common ground on some of these big issues. According to this view, compromisers don't get that much accomplished.

Bill Clinton pursued a triangulation strategy in the last half of his presidency: small gains, trying to work with the other side of the aisle. But that's not the type of change Obama is talking about. He's promising fundamental change, generational change.

I also want to know how Obama is going to react when things aren't going well. He's gotten some unfair comments about his religious background (he's a Christian) and the association of his church's leader with Louis Farrakhan, but, as the saying goes, he "ain't seen nothing yet." It's obvious that he can be charming and inspirational, but reporters have also found him to be aloof, even arrogant.

How will a person with so little national political experience react to the cocoon of the White House, surrounded by sycophantic aides (regardless of what he may say now about wanting a staff that will tell him, "no") and a cacophony of criticism from the fourth estate, which inevitably happens to every president? If he wants to get anything done, he's going to make enemies, no matter how much he tries to rebuild the center of American politics. How will he react?

Don't get me wrong. Obama has my attention. He might actually have momentum - whatever that is and if it even exists. But it's been only six weeks since the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries. So far, I like what I see. But I'm still not sure what I'm getting.

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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James Klurfeld is a professor of journalism at Stony Brook University.



© 2008, Newsday Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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