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December 2, 2014

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 Aug 22, 2012/ 4 Elul, 5772

Axelrod: Romney Speaks 'Pious Nonsense'

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | CHICAGO — David Axelrod sits in a booth in the upscale cafe at the foot of the towering Obama campaign headquarters building and casts a cold eye both on his ahi tuna salad and Mitt Romney. He likes the tuna better.

"There is a sense of entitlement to Romney," Axelrod says. "He believes 'I'm supposed to criticize you, but you're not supposed to criticize me.'"

There has been so much criticism in this campaign that last week Romney snapped, "Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago!"

This was met in Obamaland with a rolling of the eyes.

"Romney's campaign has been predicated on negativity from the beginning," Axelrod says. "He got the nomination by eviscerating his opponents with negative media and then complained that they 'whined' about it.

"He challenged the president's patriotism and stood mute when a woman accused the president of treason. And now he is moralizing on the tone of the campaign? It's absurd. It's pious nonsense."

Outside, over Chicago's downtown, military jets scream in tight formations at incredibly low altitudes, trailing sonic booms behind them. In other cities, this might send citizens scrambling for their cellphones to call 911. Here, they know it is a rehearsal for the Air and Water Show.

And Axelrod has a few sonic booms of his own.

"There is something Orwellian about Romney's analysis of Obama; it's like he is looking in a mirror and ascribing things in himself to Obama: Romney says that Obama will do anything to hold onto power," Axelrod says.

But when Axelrod first talked to Obama about running for president years ago, one thing troubled Axelrod: Obama didn't seem obsessive enough.

"Obama didn't have that pathological drive for power, and it worried me," Axelrod says. Axelrod once saw the future candidate sitting around on a couch one day with friends watching ESPN. Axelrod considered this an ominous sign: The candidate might not be as driven to win as was going to be necessary.

And now?

"The last thing Obama cares about is holding onto power for the sake of holding onto power," Axelrod says. "But he knows that beyond him and Romney, this is an important election."

"I've got two jobs," Obama told Axelrod, speaking of the presidency and his need to be re-elected to it. "Let me know what you want me to do."

Axelrod says Obama has not balked at any campaign request, though he keeps in mind he has a world to run. "When you've done a job and been called upon to make consequential decisions — some life-or-death decisions — it gives you a different perspective," Axelrod says. "You don't sweat the small stuff."

Which is made easier by the fact that Obama has a huge campaign staff — to say nothing of a White House staff — to sweat the small stuff for him. A Romney press pool report recently noted, "A vintage plane carrying a sign reading 'Obama — Taking America Forward' made a few slow laps above us before flying off above Romney event in Massachusetts."

Romney forces are outspending Obama forces 3 to 1 on the airwaves, $200 million of it on negative campaigning by Axelrod's reckoning. But Axelrod says the president is not overly troubled.

If negative ads are being used in an attempt to push persuadable voters toward Romney, so what? The Obama campaign believes there are not that many persuadable voters out there who actually will believe Obama is a terrible guy.

"Never will so much be spent to influence so few," Obama told Axelrod.

Axelrod says: "Michael Jordan used to say that when the game was on the line, things slowed down for him and he could see everything. It's the same for Obama. He hunkers down, and he focuses. He tends to be calmer and more focused the more frenetic the situation."

And, once again, Obama has a staff that can handle frenetic for him. The Obama inner circle — the strategy team — meets once a week. Even though some members do not live near Chicago, all try to be at the meeting rather than use conference calling.

The team includes Axelrod, the campaign's senior strategist; Jim Messina, the campaign manager (whose office the team meets in); David Plouffe, senior adviser to Obama; Alyssa Mastromonaco, deputy chief of staff for operations for Obama; Larry Grisolano, a top political adviser overseeing media and polling; and Stephanie Cutter, Jen O'Malley Dillon and Julianna Smoot, all deputy campaign managers.

The experienced staff, Axelrod insists, does not have the same roller-coaster view of the campaign that the press has. "Our data has been incredibly stable for the entire year," he says. "Our polling shows that President Obama's standing in battleground states has held up very well. How much can you influence people (against) someone they know very well?"

A senior campaign official said Obama currently has 247 electoral votes solid or leaning toward him and Romney has 191. A candidate needs 270 to win.

"If we win Florida (with 29 electoral votes), we win," the Obama official said. "I don't want to be sanguine in the least, but we certainly have more paths to 270 than they do. From an Electoral College standpoint, they have to pull an inside straight."

Inside straights do sometimes get pulled. But the Obama forces say the campaign is playing out pretty much as they expected. "They make phony and incendiary charges and put great force behind it in terms of money and power," Axelrod says. "They campaign with the big lie."

Even though Axelrod believes the public can "sniff out" lies and dirty tricks, he does not intend to depend on the public's olfactory abilities alone.

"We will respond aggressively to what they're doing and force them to respond to us," he says.

Axelrod believes Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate can only hurt the ticket. "Ryan is very much an ideologue," Axelrod said. "His views are not mainstream views."

Then Axelrod quoted Tom Perriello, a former Democratic congressman from Virginia: "Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, 'I want the brains behind THAT operation.'"

"Foreign policy experience is going to be important also, and Romney's little foray into foreign policy wasn't all that reassuring," Axelrod says. "Insulting our strongest ally (Great Britain) wasn't that helpful."

But what about Biden's gaffe about "y'all" and "chains"?

Axelrod shrugs it off. "We can pretty much rest assured that every one of these four will say something to send the media into a frenzy," he says. "That doesn't mean any (frenzy) will affect the outcome of the vote."

Obama, Axelrod says, "laughs and shakes his head at the absurdity of the process."

But seeing through the game is not the same as winning it. A candidate can be sardonic, or he can be victorious. Rarely can he be both.

And Obama does sweat some details. Like when Axelrod came to Obama with happy news. Axelrod's son, Michael, is getting married on Sept. 15 at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

"Mazel tov!" Obama said and then did some mental arithmetic. "Wait. When? This Sept. 15? Are you going to be able to concentrate on the election?"

Then Obama relaxed. "Of course you will be able to," he said to the famously disheveled Axelrod. "No one is going to be relying on you for decisions on floral arrangements."

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