In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Jan. 23, 2007 / 4 Shevat, 5767

Romney: Seriously great, but with baggage

By Jonathan V. Last

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mitt Romney is The Natural.

As a piece of raw, political horse flesh, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts may be one of the great talents of his generation: good-looking, whip-smart, funny, charismatic, and, by nearly every account, a genuinely decent man. All of which — plus his personal fortune, reportedly in the hundreds of millions — makes him a formidable candidate for the Republican nomination.

Romney is a moderate, yet he decided to position himself on the conservative side of the draw as he runs for president. Smart politics. It means that, in the early phases of the nomination fight, he will be jousting with second-tier candidates such as Sam Brownback and Newt Gingrich instead of fighting for space with the two moderate heavyweights: John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.

But Romney's conservative strategy hit its first speed bump recently when footage from his 1994 senatorial debate with Ted Kennedy appeared on the Internet. In that race, Romney was attempting to position himself as a more competent version of Kennedy himself. So when Kennedy tried to paint Romney as a Reagan-Bush conservative, Romney strenuously objected, saying: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush."

Asked about affirmative action and discrimination, Romney said that there definitely was a "glass ceiling" holding back women and minorities and that "I believe that public companies and federal agencies should be required to report in their annual 10K the number of minorities and women by income group within the company so we can identify where the glass ceiling is and break through it."

Then there was the matter of abortion. Romney claimed to be a long-standing supporter of it. He said: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate. I believe that, since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it. And I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice." When Kennedy quipped that Romney had been "multiple choice" on abortion, Romney defensively retorted: "My mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on [abortion]. And you will not see me wavering on that. Or be multiple choice. Thank you very much."

As the video began making the rounds, the Romney camp went into full damage-control mode, trying to reassure conservatives that he had changed his mind and had been, as he delicately put it, "wrong on some issues back then." You can see why they might be worried: Romney had claimed that his belief in the protection of abortion actually predated Roe - which was handed down in 1973. And in calling for abortion to be "safe" and "legal," he hadn't even added the "rare" fig leaf.

In truth, Romney's pro-life conversion story isn't very compelling. By 2002, when he was running for governor, Romney no longer identified himself as pro-choice. He now says that he realized abortion was wrong in 2004. He was brought to this realization, he says, while examining the issue of stem-cell research.

Moral reasoning on the sanctity of life does not typically flow in that direction. It's a bit like an atheist being brought to Christianity on the strength of Intelligent Design theory.

(For whatever it's worth, Romney also now puts Reagan on his list of great and admirable presidents.)

But conservatives probably have little to worry about with Romney. As a politician, he has proven that, when he makes a promise to a constituency, he sticks. For instance, when he was running for governor in 2002, he may have been having misgivings about abortion, but Romney promised voters that he would have a "moratorium" on state abortion law and wouldn't try to change it. And even when he realized that abortion was morally repugnant, two years later, he kept his word on the "moratorium."

If there is a conservative concern about Romney, it shouldn't be with his ideological moorings, but rather with his electoral record.

Romney has one primary victory to his credit (from 1994, when he captured the Republican senatorial nomination) and one general-election victory (his 2002 gubernatorial win). Against that, he lost his 1994 Senate campaign, did not have a primary opponent in 2002, and withdrew from seeking reelection in 2006 because he had almost no chance of winning. Republicans might wonder how Romney will fare against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida and Pennsylvania when he couldn't handle rookie candidate Deval Patrick as an incumbent governor in Massachusetts.

But great politicians are able to work around such worries — and Romney is a seriously great politician. In fact, he might well be the GOP's Bill Clinton, only without the personal baggage. Should Republicans decide they need a Clinton to beat a Clinton in 2008, then Romney could be their man.

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.

Jonathan V. Last is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


12/23/06 When truth is transpicuous
12/05/06 A realistic plan: Split the country in two
11/08/06 We could easily pull out of Korea and let China have regional hegemony. But would it be the right thing?
10/24/06 The decline of revolution
10/18/06 Why the free market is king
08/07/06 Democracy, of itself, not solution to all problems
08/01/06 We get the movies we deserve
07/27/06 How long will U.S. empire last?

© 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.