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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 May 27, 2013/ 18 Sivan, 5773

Patience is a virtue --- and a political strategy

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Don't be spooked by the dateline. Nothing going on here. Presidential race hasn't started. No cause for worry about debates, delegate counts, stump speeches. Not for a long time, maybe a very long time. Read on without peril.

Because this is a column about why the Democratic campaign, and thus maybe the Republican campaign, too, may be delayed indefinitely, why the person at the center of the speculation has no incentive to budge one inch, and why your fatigue with politics may perfectly match her strategic imperatives.

The politician we are speaking of is Hillary Rodham Clinton, late the secretary of state, before that the senator from New York. The political commentariat, including this foot soldier in those bedraggled and discredited ranks, has noted that she is in the unusual position of freezing the race. None of the Democrats will move -- not Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., not even this season's hugababy, Martin O'Malley, still so little known that it's bad manners to the reader not to append his title, governor of Maryland -- until she does.

Or doesn't.

This is not an everyday phenomenon. Consider the most formidable political figures of modern times: No other potential contender waited to gauge Sen. John F. Kennedy's intentions for 1960. Not a soul on Earth put his life on hold to see if Gov. Bill Clinton would run in 1988, when he didn't, or in 1992, when he did. Neither of the George Bushes scared anyone else out of the race in 1988 or 2000 or kept multitudes waiting for a decision from Kennebunkport. Jimmy Carter? You must be kidding. One of the reasons he carried his own grip was because he didn't have any supporters to do so.

The Clinton position in this race is without precedent. Andrew Jackson was the presumptive 1828 Democratic nominee from the start -- so much so that the party didn't even hold a nominating caucus -- but he had been the clear winner in both the popular and Electoral College vote in 1824 only to lose the presidency in the "corrupt bargain" that took John Quincy Adams to the White House in the only election ever decided in the House of Representatives. Nothing could deny Jackson the nomination four years later.

Even Grover Cleveland, who won the presidency in 1884, and then lost it in 1888, wasn't in as commanding a position as Mrs. Clinton when he sought (and won) another term in 1892. His views on the free coinage of silver, the signature issue of the party and the time, were out of sync with many Democrats, and he had the enmity of the Tammany forces in his own state. He won re-nomination on the first ballot by only a handful of delegates in a raucous, fractured convention.

The only political figure since the Civil War to have anything remotely resembling the Clinton effect was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who as a victorious general in Europe could have had the presidential nomination of the Republican Party and very likely the Democratic Party in 1948, and who would have breezed to the nomination of either party four years later.

So alluring a candidate was he that President Harry Truman suggested he would stand down in 1948 if Eisenhower wanted to run as a Democrat. As late as July 5, 1948, just 120 days before the election, Eisenhower issued this statement: "I will not, at this time, identify myself with any political party and could not accept nomination for any public office or participate in a partisan political contact."

Naturally, politicos being politicos, the phrase "at this time" attracted inordinate attention and, according to Jean Edward Smith in the most recent Eisenhower biography, "few doubted that the [Democratic] nomination would have been his if he wanted it."

But even in 1948 and 1952, Eisenhower's indecision, whether real or calculated, didn't make as much of a difference as Mrs. Clinton's refusal, whether real or calculated, to make an early decision. Those races went on anyway.

Eventually Eisenhower declared himself a Republican and powered past Sen. Robert Taft to win the 1952 Republican presidential nomination. But he didn't stop Taft from running hard -- far from it, for the Ohio senator won several important primaries, including Wisconsin and Illinois, and then engaged in a bitter convention battle that featured a now-forgotten contretemps over "stolen delegates."

Today, we know Mrs. Clinton's party affiliation but we do not know her political intentions. And until we do, there is no campaign.

But it is more than that. She's the favorite for the nomination -- can there breathe a soul who does not know who she is and what she has done? -- and so dominating a figure out of power, out of the public eye and out of the nastiness of today's politics, that she has no incentive whatsoever to weaken her position by dipping back in.

How long could this last? As long as she wants it to, and she very likely will want it to last a very long time.

Why? The longer it lasts, the less time her putative opponents have to build organizations in Iowa and New Hampshire, still the indispensable first two steps toward a presidential nomination, and the less money the other potential candidates will have collected as the first voting nears.

But perhaps most important, the longer it lasts, the less opportunity for Mr. O'Malley and a half dozen others will have to build support and even name recognition.

"She's the most qualified candidate in the field and perhaps in a long time," former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview, comparing the depth of Mrs. Clinton's preparation to that of George H. W. Bush, who had served in the House, as director of central intelligence, as a diplomat in China and as a two-term vice president when he ran for president in 1988. "I dearly hope she runs. Here's someone immensely ready -- and she happens to be a woman."

But there's no hurry. In this case they also serve (their own purposes) who stand and wait.

Comment by clicking here.

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


Previously:



05/20/13 Crossing sacred lines in Washington
05/06/13 The limited power of presidents
04/29/13 Living history on display
04/22/13 Social Security, 21st-century style: Dems call Obama a traitor
04/15/13 49 years, four months, 25 days: Today's America is as far removed from JFK's era as his was from World War I
04/08/13 The Senate as it once was
04/01/13 Connections and coincidence: History is full of mysterious relationships, including clusters of greatness
03/25/13 Where portraits tell the story of America's greatest conflict
03/18/13 A former president's correspondence reveals the power of letters, and the powerlessness of aging
03/11/13 Outrageous spectacle lead to a rational resolution on the budget? A nation can dream, can't it?
02/25/13 The one big thing Democrats and Republicans can actually agree on
02/18/13 Obama is wrong to make young people think college is mainly about making a living
02/11/13 The war inside the GOP
02/04/13 Presidential politics, frozen in place
01/28/13 Speech invokes past for present and future
01/14/13 If Obama's inaugural address is to be remembered at all
01/21/13 Identity crisis in the GOP
01/07/13 History meets firearms
12/31/12 In search of our better angels
12/24/12 Wounded in war, Inouye just kept serving his country
12/10/12 President as change agent
12/10/12 Another overtime election
12/03/12 Defining the Obama presidency: Our re-elected chief executive has the whip hand now, but how will he use
11/19/12 New Hampshire 2016
11/12/12 Obama's second chance
11/05/12 America's first martyr to free speech
10/29/12 Making hay in Iowa
10/15/12 When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance
10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
10/01/12 Debating the debates
09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
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





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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