Home
In this issue
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 July 16, 2012/ 26 Tammuz, 5772

The Rambler American

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | Is Michigan about to flip for Mitt?

Let's stipulate that by the word flip we are not talking about heedless somersaults of ecstasy. This is not that kind of place, and Mitt Romney is not that kind of candidate.

Michigan is not particularly flighty. Up north they take their fishing so seriously they pursue it in forbidding wintry conditions. In Ann Arbor and East Lansing, the gridiron game is played with stern, nearly religious devotion. No one doubts that, despite its resurgence, there aren't many laughs in the auto industry these days, and the state of Detroit is no laughing matter.

But suddenly Republicans are feeling good about Michigan. Not giddy, mind you. Just a bit optimistic.

It now seems clear that if the GOP wins Michigan, it won't necessarily win the fall election -- but if Mr. Romney wins the election he will very likely win Michigan. That makes for difficult political choices for campaign strategists.

This state is, above all, a place of great loyalty and consistency, and herein lies the Romney opening for 2012.

Consider this: For the last five elections, Michigan voted for the Democratic presidential nominee. For the five elections prior to that, Michigan voted for the Republican nominee. Go back three more, and all the elections went to the Democrat. Go back another three, and they're all Republican years.

Connecticut used to be considered the state of steady habits. It turns out that in the last 16 elections, the Nutmeg state voted exactly the way Michigan did: in a 5-5-3-3 pattern that sounds a lot like the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty ratios that limited the capital ships great powers could deploy. Connecticut is reliably Democratic this political season, but not so Michigan.

Politics is not prescriptive, of course, so this doesn't mean that a big switch (which is to say a pigment change to Republican red in November) is inevitable here. It just means that Michigan almost certainly is more in play this year than it was in 2008, when the economy was crashing, the auto industry was on life support and Barack Obama won the state by about 824,000 votes.

Now, to the loyalty element. Mr. Romney may have been governor of Massachusetts and a principal figure in salvaging the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Utah, but his inner compass points to Michigan, where he was reared and where his father was the chief of American Motors and a successful governor.

The Romney name still resonates here, and if you mention it many will think you're referring to the father. George W. Romney still is revered. Mitt Romney may be the beneficiary. That is not without precedent in presidential politics, and the evidence can be summed up with two names: Franklin Roosevelt. George W. Bush.

Like so many places, the economy is the major issue here. Only 11 states have a higher unemployment rate than Michigan, where it remains stubbornly at 8.5 percent. In the classic battleground state, Ohio, unemployment is substantially lower, at 7.3 percent. These are not the kind of political entrails that give comfort to an incumbent party.

Mr. Obama's camp believes the president's auto bailout will help bail him out here in November. His supporters happily point out that General Motors and Chrysler have defied the naysayers and enjoyed a robust rebound -- and they pound home the point that Mr. Romney opposed Mr. Obama's intervention.

Auto workers have legendary long memories and strong loyalties. But there are fewer of them than there once were, and one consequence of the decades-long crisis of the carmakers is that unionized workers in automobile plants and related industries constitute a smaller part of the voting base than they did when the great labor leader Walter Reuther ruled Detroit, was a major figure in Democratic politics and for a time met weekly with President Lyndon B. Johnson.

That was long ago. Beginning in 1972, the Republicans, assisted by the prominence of Gerald R. Ford of Grand Rapids, began their two-decade dominance of the state. There's ample evidence to suggest that Michigan's recent dalliance with the Democrats is ending and that a Republican resurgence is nigh.

Rural Republicans are angrier (very) than urban Democrats are content (hardly). The balance of power for the state's 16 electoral votes is in the suburbs, which this year may not be where the Obama team would like to fight for survival, particularly given the success there of GOP Gov. Rick Snyder in his election battle two years ago.

Today all three branches of state government are firmly in Republican hands. The Real Clear Politics poll average that for weeks gave Mr. Obama a lead of 14 percentage points in Michigan now shows him hanging on to a lead of less than 2 percentage points. If an $85 billion auto bailout was worth a measly 2-point advantage, then what can a president with less than four months before Election Day do to save himself here and in places like it, such as Wisconsin and Minnesota?

Mr. Romney, who once said, inscrutably, that he liked Michigan because its trees are "the right height," hasn't always emphasized his roots. But since competing here in the primaries -- he defeated former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylania by 3 percentage points -- he has repeatedly reminded voters of his Michigan childhood.

"I grew up in Michigan, as you know, born and raised here," he said in the tourist town of Frankenmuth a month ago, "and if I'm lucky enough to become president I'll be the first president in American history to be born in Michigan." (Gerald Ford, generally regarded as the first Michigan president, was born in Nebraska.)

But measuring the impact of Mr. Romney's Michigan roots isn't easy. Nearly three-fifths of the state's population has no real memory of the gubernatorial years of Mr. Romney's father. But they may know the elder Romney was perhaps the dominant Republican of the post-war era and the spiritual father of the Rambler automobile.

Even so, the election here may come down to this unlikely question, dangerous to Democrats, alluring to Republicans: Is being the son of the man behind the 1963 Motor Trend Car of the Year enough to win the White House?

Comment by clicking here.

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


Previously:



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.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles