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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 May 21, 2012/ 29 Iyar, 5772

Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | BOSTON--- Barack Obama's opponent four years ago was a Republican who repressed his moderate and liberal instincts, who insisted he was a conservative, who seemed to be suffering from a political identity crisis, who had a sterling resume but a halting campaign style.

His opponent this time can be described ... exactly the same way.

So we're familiar with what the Republicans will be peddling this time, though the name at the top of the GOP ticket won't be John McCain but Mitt Romney. The Democrats, of course, will be trying to sell Barack Obama again.

The story of the 2012 campaign may not be that the characteristics of the Republican candidate have changed. The story may be that the same Democratic candidate is entirely different.

Last time Barack Obama was an insurgent. This time he is an incumbent. Last time he was an outsider, with hardly any experience. This time he is an insider, with a record to defend. Last time he ran as a critic of administration economic policy. This time he is running as the spokesman of administration economic policy. Last time he pushed to suggest he was like Abraham Lincoln. This time he is working against the notion he is Jimmy Carter.

While Republicans, especially conservatives, bemoan the fact that they will be running a nominee much like the last one, Democrats, especially liberals, bemoan the fact that they don't have the shiny, inspiring new political figure of 2008 to offer.

Presidents running for re-election in times of crisis -- Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Franklin Roosevelt in 1936, Richard Nixon in 1972, Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George W. Bush in 2004 come to mind -- often pave the way to a second term by appealing to public reluctance to make a change in a period of peril. As Mr. Obama's Illinois predecessor said at the Republican convention in 1864, in the middle of the Civil War: It's best not to "swap horses while crossing the river."

But you won't hear warnings about changing horses from the Democrats this year. Mr. Obama was the kind of candidate who inspired voter loyalty, but he is not the kind of president who does.

Which is why professionals on both sides of the 2012 election are so uneasy. The Republicans aren't comfortable with their nominee and the Democrats worry that the voters aren't comfortable with theirs.

There hasn't been a re-election battle like this since 1932, when -- and this is largely forgotten now -- the Republicans knew Herbert Hoover was vulnerable and the Democrats worried that FDR was neither ready for, nor up to, the job.

In fact, Hoover warned voters that Roosevelt, with only four years as governor of a northeastern state under his belt (like Mr. Romney) was unreliable and unsound. Even though Roosevelt had been the Democratic nominee for vice president in 1920, Mr. Romney is less vulnerable on that count than Roosevelt was.

Incumbents like Hoover often portray their challengers as being too inexperienced for the White House, but that is an argument peculiarly unsuited this year to the Democrats, whose candidate ascended to the White House after only four years in the Senate.

One modern president, Ronald Reagan, managed to remain an outsider even when he was inside the White House. All the rest, including Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, both of whose personal impulses veered against insider Washington, found themselves running for president as insiders. In Mr. Carter's case, it didn't work. In Mr. Bush's, it did.

For Mr. Obama, the situation is more complex. As a black president, he is by definition an outsider. In his memoir, he spoke eloquently of knowing "how to live as an outsider."

But this year, Mr. Obama has relentlessly portrayed himself as a presidential insider, with insider knowledge and insider perspective if not with an insider personality. David Maraniss, in his forthcoming biography of the president, speaks of the contrast between the young Barack Obama and an early girlfriend, a child of wealth whose family owned a country estate in Connecticut. "The ironic thing," the woman said, "is he moved through the corridors of power in a far more comfortable way than I ever would have."

Mr. Romney, the son of a governor, corporate executive and Cabinet member, is a natural insider, even a born insider -- but in this election he will be the outsider.

That's not the only unusual thing about his profile as he looks toward November.

Mr. Romney is a nominee all but certain to lose his own state, a feat accomplished only twice by candidates who eventually won the election (Woodrow Wilson in 1916, James Polk in 1844). So popular is Mr. Obama here in Massachusetts that Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's television commercials prominently feature the president, something you will not see everywhere, or maybe even anywhere else.

There are scores of scenarios for the fall election, but one that seems stubbornly persistent focuses on a state that Franklin Roosevelt won by a stunning three-to-one margin in 1932 and that held the balance of power in the contentious election of 2000: Florida.

Past performance, as Wall Street financiers often say, is no indicator of future returns, but if the Democrats carry the states that have become reliably Democratic in recent elections, they would need only Florida to win the 270 electoral votes required to keep the White House.

Now, consider three very important indicators: Florida's job growth in the past year, at 1.24 percent, is precisely at the national average. Florida's unemployment rate, at 9 percent, is higher than the national average of 8.1 percent. And the latest Quinnipiac University Poll shows the two presidential contenders at a virtual dead heat in the state, with Mr. Romney holding a statistically insignificant lead of 44 percent to 43 percent over Mr. Obama.

That reinforces the notion that this will be a terrifically tight election, the sort that could hinge on a gaffe or an unpredictable remark. Political professionals, who by nature like to control events rather than be vulnerable to them, hate this sort of situation. It renders doctrines dormant, and it turns politics inside out.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





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