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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 Sept. 15, 2010 / 7 Tishrei, 5771

You Can't Rule on Personality Alone

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Surely the Lord sent Jimmy Carter," the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s father proclaimed at the 1976 Democratic convention, "to come on out and bring America back where she belongs."

Carter campaigned on his personal religiosity far more than any other president since World War II. In an interview with Pat Robertson on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Carter explained that "secular law is compatible with G0d's laws," but if the two were in conflict, "we should honor G0d's law." Robertson endorsed Carter. So did Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, who said, "G0d has his hand upon Jimmy Carter to run for president."

Though it is hard to fathom today, given that Carter is one of the dullest personalities in American public life (and ranks high on the all-time dull list for carbon-based life forms generally), there was a time when he was seen as a deeply charismatic figure. One of his aides privately urged him in a memo to "capitalize on your greatest asset -- your personal charm." Newsweek insisted that he "evokes memories of Kennedy's style." Jules Witcover, who chronicled the 1976 campaign in his book, "Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976," writes that Carter's magnetism was so powerful, he could conduct "personal political baptisms" with voters.

In an article partially headlined, "On Carter: 'Country is Ready' for the Hope He Stirs," U.S. News & World Report (which wasn't always a college ranking guide) interviewed Brandeis political scientist Thomas Cronin, who explained that "Carter's coalition is more of a personal matter." Voters are attracted to his "engaging personality and to his smile, his centrist tone." Some in the Democratic Party hoped that Carter's stunning success in the South and with the more socially conservative evangelical vote was a sign that the Democrats had truly reclaimed the center -- and the White House with it -- for generations.

It was not to be. The liberals left him in the primary for Ted Kennedy. The evangelicals and the Southerners left him in the fall for Ronald Reagan. If the Lord had sent Carter, it was to set the stage for the Reagan revolution.

The Carter presidency failed and his coalition dissipated because you can't hold a coalition together with personality alone. You need to actually govern in a way that satisfies your constituency.

"The New Deal coalition is called the 'New Deal coalition' and not the 'Great Depression coalition' for a reason," says political analyst Jay Cost. FDR offered a winning political program. Carter offered sanctimony, arrogance and the sense that he bit off more than he could handle.

If the name Barack Obama hasn't sprung to mind yet, you must be staying in the same bunker where much of the Democratic leadership is holed up.

Obama's campaign was Carteresque on several fronts. The consummate outsider, Obama promised a transformational presidency, a new accommodation with religion, a new centrism, a changed tone. And there was no shortage of conjecture that Obama -- a.k.a. "the one" -- was sent by the Lord to his chosen people, "the ones we've been waiting for."

The Carter-Obama comparison is not new. Rich Lowry of the National Review visited it at length in 2007. It's also imperfect. For starters, Obama was never as conservative as Carter, and Obama has gotten more accomplished than Carter did.

But, like Carter, Obama hasn't governed in a way that has held his coalition together.

After the 2008 election, various liberal pundits insisted that Obama's personal popularity would bring about a sea change and a "new liberal order," in the words of Peter Beinart in Time magazine. According to Beinart, the Obama congressional coalition appeared as enduring as FDR's. Youngsters seemed like a pot of electoral gold, because the under-30 vote went for Obama by a margin of 2 to 1. Harold Meyerson celebrated that Obama's appeal to the young would usher in a renewed popularity for socialism. E.J. Dionne insisted that the millennials were the next "New Dealers."

That's all somewhere between dubious and ludicrous now. As the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend, "Obama's coalition is frayed and frazzled." Independents defected long ago, and young people are heading for the door, less interested in the next New Deal and more interested in a job. And every day Obama seems more like the Lord's unwitting herald of the revolution to come.

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