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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 3, 2012/ 10 Shevat, 5772

Referendum on the Incumbent

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Conventional wisdom suggests that the current refusal of the GOP base to accept Mitt Romney as the de facto presidential nominee will doom the party to failure in the fall. The thought is that too many debates, too much sniping among the candidates, and an overall enthusiasm deficit will leave the nominee — and the odds still favor Romney — mortally wounded.

But this election was never going to be decided so much by voters affirmatively choosing the Republican candidate as by whether they were going to reject Barack Obama. Second-term elections are always a referendum on the incumbent, not the challenger. And when Americans have chosen to turn out a sitting president, it has rarely been because the challenger was so much more appealing. The qualities of the challenger aren't irrelevant; they're just not as decisive as the perceived success or failure of the incumbent.

In 1980, Americans chose to give Jimmy Carter the boot. Inflation and interest rates had gone through the roof on his watch, and unemployment had risen. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan, and its surrogates had made inroads in the United States' own backyard. Carter made Americans feel bad about themselves, so they voted him out of office. Many Americans didn't know all that much about Ronald Reagan, and the media tried to make him out to be a reckless cowboy, but voters knew they didn't want more of Carter.

The same could be said of George H.W. Bush. Voters liked him enough when he pushed Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in the hundred-hour war, but by the time re-election rolled around, things had changed. Bill Clinton was a small-time governor from a southern state but became the Democrats' nominee largely because better-known candidates with bigger reputations hadn't bothered to run. But he won because voters were tired of Bush.

Americans made a huge gamble when they picked Barack Obama in 2008. They chose an inexperienced and little-known but charismatic figure who promised change at a time when the country was in deep crisis. In many ways, he was a tabula rasa on which voters wrote their own hopes and dreams. They saw in him what they wanted to see.

In November, the voters will decide whether or not they made a mistake — and, if so, a big enough one to gamble again on the new guy.

Obama's outsized personality was a huge factor in 2008. He seemed bigger than life, with a story that can happen only in America. He started life with many disadvantages. His father abandoned him — and later his mother did as well, sending him to live with her parents while she pursued a new life in another country with a new husband and child. He moved around from place to place, never quite belonging wherever he was. And he was black, which, until Obama's election, most analysts would have regarded as a major impediment to being elected president.

As it turned out, Obama's race was probably a factor in favor of his election. Voting for Obama made many Americans — white and black — feel good about themselves. It allowed them to exorcize the demons of the country's past racism. But in 2012, race will be, as it should, a non-factor.

Obama's biggest challenge in 2012 will be running against the Barack Obama of 2008. Will Americans be sick of his grandiose rhetoric? Will they believe they're better off now than they were four years ago? Will they believe he delivered on that "hope and change" message? Or will they feel cheated?

The best thing the Republican nominee may have going for him is that he is not Obama. The GOP nominee may be a bit battered, but he'll also be battle-tested. And by Nov. 6, voters may just have had enough of Obama to try their luck again by picking the other guy — no matter who he 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 Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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