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 March 9, 2012/ 15 Adar, 5772

A discount on the 2-cent endorsement

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the age of the Internet, when everybody wants to get his two cents in and anybody can invent his own facts and rant in a blog or sometimes even a newspaper column, endorsements don't mean much. They particularly don't mean much coming from a congressman.

Endorsements are a holdover from a happier day before endless strings of primaries upset the time-tested process of selection of the party nominees. The backrooms, smoke and all, produced the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, FDR and Harry S. Truman. The primaries have produced such giants as Michael Dukakis, George McGovern and John Kerry. An endorsement by a congressman, a blogger, a pundit or a guitar-plucker long past his sell-by date are mere ego trips, fitting only for the new age. But if a wannabe priest, a moonstruck gasbag and a nutty sawbones can be taken seriously as presidential candidates, well, why not? Is this a great country, or what?

Nevertheless, even the politicians are growing weary of the endorsement game. Mitt Romney is still playing the game, boasting of his high-profile endorsements by politicians. But they haven't seemed to do much for him. He's collecting delegates in spite of his high-profile endorsements.

High-profile Super Tuesday endorsers pledged their troth in Oklahoma (Sen. Tom Coburn), Tennessee (Sen. Lamar Alexander) and North Dakota (Sen. John Hoeven). TheMassachusetts mauler lost all three of these primaries. In earlier primaries, Gov. Nikki Haley endorsed him in South Carolina (he lost) and former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska endorsed New Gingrich (he lost, too).

And not just high profile endorsers. The laptop computer enables anyone with access to the Internet to pretend to be a kingmaker, or at least an alderman-maker. Once upon a time in a place far away, a storefront preacher in my hometown, who broadcast his sermons on a 250-watt radio station with a signal that on a good day reached almost to the city limits, set out to throw his weight, such as it was, into presidential politics. He was a man with a cosmic vision if a poor knowledge of geography. "Hear me, London, England," he cried. "Hear me, Paris, France. Hear me,Rome, Italy." And then he set out instructions for election day. That was the last anyone ever heard of his crusade. He should have lived long enough for someone to invent the laptop.

Now even the high-profile endorsers are feeling a bit sheepish about their ambitions. "Here's my take on endorsements, including my own," the humbled Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who endorsed Mr. Romney for her state's primary (he won), tells Politico, the Capitol Hill newspaper. "Voters are going to make up their minds on their own." She thinks endorsements can help raise money and set up campaign organizations, vastly important enough in their way, but are not capable of delivering actual votes on Election Day.

Other candidates who succeeded despite obstacles thrown up by party biggies cite endorsements as crucial to an attempt to reclaim the soul, if any, of the party. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says the pursuit of his father, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, for the Republican nomination is one such attempt. In the son's view, Ron Paul's quixotic campaign to nowhere is to "gain influence in which direction the Republican Party takes." A legitimate quest, but it muddies the nominee-selection picture.

Editors have debated whether newspaper endorsements are worth very much, whether they actually persuade anyone to vote for a specific candidate or whether such endorsements go beyond massaging a newspaper mogul's ego. Newspaper mogulhood ain't what it used to be, when a newspaper was king of the mountain, but endorsements persist, and except when a newspaper is particularly disliked they don't do much harm. Where a newspaper endorsement is effective is in local races. Without a newspaper endorsement, which is presumably the result of research and reflection, most voters would have no clue to the qualifications of candidates for keeper of municipal records, state commissioner of railroads or county assessor. Important jobs all, but the average voter will never have heard of the job-seekers.

"Endorsements sometimes matter, and sometimes don't," Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who endorsed Mr. Romney in 2008, tells Politico. He thinks an endorsement at the right moment in a tight race can sometimes make a difference. Or not. "For someone who endorses a lot, like I do, I haven't figured it out, either."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Wesley Pruden Archives

© 2007 Wesley Pruden

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles