Home
In this issue
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 August 16, 2011 / 16 Menachem-Av, 5771

GOP Field Narrows

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Who says presidential debates and straw polls don't matter? The field of Republican presidential candidates has narrowed a bit after the presidential debate-cum-straw poll at Ames, Ia., home of Iowa State, corn-fed beauties of every species, and the GOP's straw-in-the-wind poll.

These up-close-and-personal encounters of the political kind give Americans a chance to judge the field. And after each one, there aren't as many contenders as there were before. The choice is clarified.

What the GOP, and the country, need next year is a candidate who can capture the imagination and, even more important, the trust of the American people. Without such a leader, all the soundbite politics, talking-point recitations, and general mud-rasslin' won't matter much. As vulnerable as a sitting president might look, the way Harry Truman did in 1948, you can't hardly beat somebody with a nobody.

See the presidential campaign of Thomas E. Dewey, a somebody who thought he could coast to victory that year, but proved a nobody when it came to presidential politics. The aim of all these exercises so far in advance of Election Day is to produce a somebody.

Right now the race for the GOP's presidential nomination is still in flux. Which is why Texas' Rick Perry chose this moment to throw his ten-gallon in the center ring. Some of the saplings were cleared away by the proceedings in Ames, but there's still a political eternity between now and Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

The frontrunner for his party's nomination, whatever running in front at this very early stage means, remains Mitt Romney. Other candidates may have thrown off some sparks in the debate, but the most common adjective applied to Mr. Romney's performance was presidential. Mainly because he didn't respond in kind to the occasional slings and arrows thrown his way but rose above them.

If he had a memorable line, it came after a dig from Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota who, after the results of the straw poll came in, was also a former presidential candidate. Given a chance to respond, all the former governor of Massachusetts did was say, "That's just fine." Mitt Romney has a way of outclassing his critics.

There were a passel of other candidates on that stage in Ames. All lined up like breeds at the Westminster Kennel Club's annual exposition. Tim Pawlenty's big mistake was to tangle with Michele Bachmann, who came out of the debate looking like a woman of principle. And one who's not about to back down when she's challenged.

The newest edition of Newt Gingrich was on display, too, and the old rascal would have won in a walk if (a) he didn't have his past with all its character issues, and (b) this was a campaign for president not of the United States but of a think tank or poli-sci school.

It's one thing to know political theory, another to be a successful statesman. Offer the voters theoretics without much experience in the great world out there, and you have a prefect recipe for failure, if not tragedy. (See Woodrow Wilson, not to mention the current occupant of the Oval Office.)

As for the the supporting cast in this show, it didn't win any Oscars. Even if it may have connected with a soundbite or two. The way Herman Cain did when he noted, "America needs to learn to take a joke." He's another businessman candidate for president, but a Wendell Willkie he ain't. Or even a Mitt Romney.

Those keeping a box score Thursday evening could safely put Mr. Cain down as less than a great politician, whetever his charms. Ditto, Rick Santorum, whose time has come but also gone in national politics.

Have I left anybody out? Oh, yes, Jon Huntsman. He also attended. And soon enough he'll be left out of the running.

Oh, yes. There's also, as always, Ron Paul. What would a presidential debate be without a village crank? Congressman Paul is to the GOP what Dennis Kucinich is to the other party -- a true believer. In all kinds of improbable things. Mr. Paul isn't just the classic isolationist in foreign affairs; he's isolated from realities all around, whether he's being a money crank or some other kind at the time.

A political party is always divided between its passions and its calculations. The candidate who satisfies its passions -- a Barry Goldwater, a George McGovern, a Robert A. Taft -- may prove a disaster in the general election, when not just the party faithful but independents and the more flexible members of the other party will need to be courted. Which is the attraction of an Eisenhower. Or, this year, a Mitt Romney.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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 Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles