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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 Dec. 14, 2006 / 23 Kislev, 5767

Run Now, Obama

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | New Hampshire was recently brightened by the presence of Barack Obama, 45, who, calling the fuss about him "baffling," made his first trip in 45 years to that state, and not under duress. Because he is young, is just two years distant from a brief career as a state legislator and has negligible national security experience, an Obama presidential candidacy could have a porcelain brittleness. But if he wants to be president — it will not be a moral failing if he decides that he does not, at least not now — this is the time for him to reach for the brass ring. There are four reasons why.


First, one can be an intriguing novelty only once. If he waits to run, the past half-century suggests that the wait could be eight years (see reason four, below). In 2016 he will be only 55, but there will be many fresher faces.


Second, if you get the girl up on her tiptoes, you should kiss her. The electorate is on its tiptoes because Obama has collaborated with the creation of a tsunami of excitement about him. He is nearing the point when a decision against running would brand him as a tease who ungallantly toyed with the electorate's affections.


Third, he has, in Hillary Clinton, the optimal opponent. The contrast is stark: He is soothing; she is not. Many Democrats who are desperate to win are queasy about depending on her. For a nation with jangled nerves, and repelled by political snarling, he offers a tone of sweet reasonableness.


What people see in him reveals more about them than about him. Some of his public utterances have the sponginess of Polonius's bromides for Laertes ("neither a borrower nor a lender be . . . to thine own self be true"). In 2005 the liberal Americans for Democratic Action and the AFL-CIO rated his voting record a perfect 100. The nonpartisan National Journal gave him an 82.5 liberalism rating, making him more liberal than Clinton (79.8). He dutifully decries "ideological" politics but just as dutifully conforms to most of liberalism's catechism, from "universal" health care, whatever that might mean, to combating global warming, whatever that might involve, and including the sacred injunction Thou Shalt Execrate Wal-Mart — an obligatory genuflection to organized labor.


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The nation, which so far is oblivious to his orthodoxy, might not mind it if it is dispensed by someone with Obama's "Can't we all just get along?" manner. Ronald Reagan, after all, demonstrated the importance of congeniality to the selling of conservatism.


Fourth, the odds favor the Democratic nominee in 2008 because for 50 years it has been rare for a presidential nominee to extend his party's hold on the presidency beyond eight years. Nixon in 1960 came agonizingly close to doing so (he lost the popular vote by 118,574 — less than a vote per precinct — and a switch of 4,430 votes in Illinois and 24,129 in Texas would have elected him) but failed. As did Hubert Humphrey in 1968 (he lost by 510,314 out of 73,211,875 votes cast), Gerald Ford in 1976 (if 5,559 votes had switched in Ohio and 7,232 in Mississippi, he would have won) and Al Gore in 2000 (537 Florida votes). Only the first President Bush, in 1988, succeeded, perhaps because the country desired a third term for the incumbent, which will not be the case in 2008. So the odds favor a Democrat winning in 2008 and, if he or she is reelected, the Democrat nominated in 2016 losing.


Furthermore, remember the metrics of success that just two years ago caused conservatives to think the future was unfolding in their favor: Bush carried 97 of the 100 most rapidly growing counties; the center of the nation's population, now southwest of St. Louis, is moving south and west at a rate of two feet an hour; only two Democratic presidents have been elected in the past 38 years; in the 15 elections since World War II, only twice has a Democrat received 50 percent of the vote. Two years later, these facts do not seem so impressive.


In 2000 and 2004, Bush twice carried 29 states that now have 274 electoral votes; Gore and Kerry carried 18 that now have 248. Not much needs to change in politics for a lot to change in governance. And Obama, like the rest of us, has been warned, by William Butler Yeats: All life is a preparation for something that probably will never happen.


Unless you make it happen.

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.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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