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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 August 17, 2011 / 17 Menachem-Av, 5771

The Right Candidate

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry got into the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and within 24 hours, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty got out.

Perry didn't exactly chase Pawlenty out of the race; the Iowa straw poll (in which T-Paw finished a distant third) did that. But the two developments are closely related. They're linked by the fact that Barack Obama is very beatable.

A lot of the preliminary autopsies of the Pawlenty campaign focus on two lines of argument. An explanation particularly popular among liberal pundits is that he was too ideologically moderate for the "extreme" GOP. The second line of thought is that he was too personally moderate, by which people mean he's so dull he could bore a cat out of a tree.

Neither theory is baseless, but they're both pretty weak. Mitt Romney is arguably even more boring than Pawlenty, and he's leading the polls. Moreover, Pawlenty ran well to Romney's right, on health care and even foreign policy.

The whole rationale for Pawlenty's candidacy was that he could defeat Obama.

T-Paw often told audiences that on ideology there was little difference between him and the other candidates. What made him different, he explained, was electability. That's a bad message for inspiring primary voters. And it's a catastrophic message if you're a bad candidate. When you run on electability, you better act like a really electable candidate. Instead, with his half-hearted jabs at Romney (It's Obamneycare! No, it's not! Yes, it is!), his graceless shots at Michele Bachmann and his seemingly manufactured passion, Pawlenty hardly looked like a general election juggernaut. Take electability away and you don't even have a generic Republican.

And that's important because over the last few months, President Obama has been losing to the "generic Republican" in the polls. In May, after the killing of Osama bin Laden, he had an 11-point lead against the generic Republican. By the end of July, it vanished as independents defected in response to a lousy economy and Obama's feckless leadership during the debt debate. That Obama dropped below 40 percent approval in the Gallup tracking poll for the first time the same weekend Perry got into the race is telling, symbolically.

The "tea parties" breathed new life, and new controversy, into the so-called Buckley rule, named after the late William F. Buckley. Bill used to say he wasn't for the most conservative candidate but the most conservative candidate electable. This practical principle was thrown out in several Senate races, including the disastrous nomination of Christine O'Donnell in the Delaware Senate race last year.

What's both remarkable and dangerous about this fluid moment in presidential politics is that one can still remain loyal to the Buckley rule and support a very conservative candidate -- at least for now. The weaker Obama gets, the more comfortable the conservative rank and file feel moving as rightward as possible. When the incumbent looks like a loser no matter what, electability loses its premium. That the GOP just swapped Pawlenty for Perry is testament to that fact, and far more significant than Bachmann's straw poll victory.

(For the record, the straw poll is a really stupid fundraising stunt for the Iowa GOP. It's primarily geared to candidates with support from one of two constituencies: the passionate and the easily bribed. Ron Paul's second-place finish proves that it's in no meaningful way a real poll, as his supporters are akin to "Battlestar Galactica" loyalists at a "Star Trek" convention, incapable of winning many converts and themselves unwilling to switch teams. Still, the straw poll is a fixture of the landscape, and candidates must deal with it.)

The danger isn't so much that GOP voters will reject the Buckley rule but that they will think that almost any conservative will be electable given how weak Obama seems. After all, independents don't subscribe to the Buckley rule -- because they're independents. If the economy improves or Obama gains traction, a Bachmann candidacy could resemble Goldwater '64 more than Reagan '80.

"Yes, people feel it now, the fire," Bachmann proclaimed in a dramatic stage whisper Sunday night in Waterloo, Iowa. "They recognize that Obama can be beat."

True enough, but fire is opportunistic. It doesn't discriminate in whom it burns.

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