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 Nov. 5, 2012/ 19 Tishrei, 5773

Deadly peril outside the media bubble

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Now we'll see how much debates really matter. Often they don't matter much. But the presidential debate Wednesday night might matter a great deal, not because of what the candidates said, but what the debate told us about who the candidates really are.

Barack Obama was revealed to be the empty suit with a great gift of gab and a talent only for appealing to the nation's guilty conscience. Some of us recognized the empty suit four years ago. Like all great salesmen, he can charm prospective customers when he tries, but without a teleprompter he's hopelessly lost at sea. On Wednesday night, he forgot whether he was selling rubbing alcohol or ladies' corsets, and it showed.

Like all presidents, he's accustomed to watching everybody swoon when he steps into the room, and the only tune on his iPod is "Hail to the Chief," which he plays often. When Mitt Romney confronted him with something less than a genuflection, the president was rattled for the rest of the evening. Life outside a bubble is tough, particularly for a president.

Mitt Romney, to our considerable surprise, has a gift for talking to the common man. He may be one of us, after all. This is particularly important in an age when everybody wants the president to feel his pain and the first lady to come over with a green-bean casserole. He arrived with a game plan and kept to it. He used the word "jobs" more than 30 times. It became a mantra. He was confident, respectful, and looked to be the man in charge of the evening. He showed unexpected flashes of humor. Once, mildly rebuking the president for endlessly repeating a canard about a tax cut, he recalled that as the father of five boys he was accustomed to hearing something repeated over and over in hopes that repetition would make it so.

But will it matter? Several presidential candidates have survived bad debate nights and gone on to win election. Ronald Reagan, remembered as the original Great Communicator, wandered from first base to center field and into the dugouts in his first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984, and then won 49 states, giving Minnesotato the native son only as a gentleman's gimme. George Bush the elder lost a debate to Michael Dukakis before clobbering him in 1988, and George the son lost his debate with John Kerry in 2004 and subsequently torpedoed the not-so-swift boat in November.

Nevertheless, Mr. Romney's stellar performance and the subsequent media meltdown after the debate was the tonic his supporters needed, and might even have stiffened the spines of some of the Republican summer soldiers who were ready to quit the fight and go home to sulk. The demoralization of the president's camp followers in the media won't last; they're already finding happy portents in the wreckage of Wednesday night. But the meltdown was fun while it lasted, and some of the media celebrities revealed themselves to be the gong-show partisans everyone knows they are. The meltdown makes the convincing argument of media bias and connivance in a way that conservative critics never could.

Chris Matthews, who has the loudest mouth on cable TV and thrives in a state of 24/7 hysteria, was rendered into a vast pool of lard. He was typical for the night. He was so overwrought you might have thought the creepy-crawly he usually feels on his leg when he hears Barack Obama speak had crawled into his underwear. He offered to tutor the president for the next two debates.

"He would learn something about [how to] debate. There's a hot debate going on in this country. You know where it's being held? Here on [MSNBC] is where we're having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people . . . what was [the president] doing tonight? He went in there disarmed . . . Obama should watch MSNBC. He will learn something every night on this show and all these shows. This stuff we're watching, it's like first grade for us. We know all this stuff."

Barack Obama went into the garage Thursday morning for an overhaul, a ring-and-valve job at a minimum, and the mechanics will have him chugging for the next debate Oct. 11 at tiny CentreCollege in Kentucky. Mitt Romney can't count on getting a weak, confused and bumbling opponent next time. But the messiah's honeyed words no longer charm. The novelty of voting for the first black president to assuage white liberal guilt has just about worn off. The Obama dilemma is that he must go on the offensive, whether presidential or not. But defending the indefensible, as he learned Wednesday night, is a fool's errand.

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