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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777
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Even After Sandy – It’s Still Romney for President

One thing this storm has done is to give the President an advantage in the election this coming Tuesday. If there are no glitches, the President gets to look Presidential. This is something Romney can’t do. He is only a candidate.

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During the Republican National Convention, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a statement that has stayed with me. He said that President Obama is not a bad man. He is just a bad President.

I do not agree with the latter part of that statement. He is not a bad President. More on that later. What I want to focus on first is that he is not only not a bad man – he is a good and decent man. A caring individual who truly wants to serve the American people and has tried to do so to the best of his ability for the past four years .

Whether he has been successful at any level is a matter of debate. But one can certainly not fault his sincerity or intentions. He is a good man. One that deserves our respect, not only as President of the United States, but as a Mentch.

This was amply demonstrated by a press conference held yesterday in New Jersey. Democrat President Obama stood next to Republican Governor Chris Christie and promised the people of New Jersey and all other victims of Hurricane Sandy that the U.S. government will do everything it can to alleviate their pain. He promised that red tape will be eliminated and that the government has learned from past experiences how to more expeditiously serve the victims of natural disasters. That remains to be seen but I somehow think it will happen. Especially now when his re-election may depend on it.

But I would posit that it would happen anyway. The President cares about the victims and is determined to help them as quickly as possible. To that end Governor Christie has praised the President. From Matzav:

“I have to give the president great credit,” Christie, who delivered the keynote address at Romney’s nominating convention, said on the Fox News Channel. “He’s done, as far as I’m concerned, a great job for New Jersey.”

Just as the President is a good and honorable man, so too is Governor Christie – giving the President credit when it is due despite his harsh political attack against him during the convention. It is to the shame of Matzav that they have politicized this. Instead of joining Governor Christie in recognizing the “great job” he’s done for New Jersey, the home of Lakewood Yeshiva, they used the following headline for this story:

Governor Disappoints: Obama Gets Christie’s Praise as Storm Aftermath Assessed

Very disappointed in Matzav. One can only surmise that they actually hate the President. It is as though they think he is some sort of closet anti Semite! If they don’t hate him why do they use the most unflattering picture they can find whenever he is the subject of one of their posts?!

I know all the reasons given as to why they don’t like him. Reasons that I do not agree with. Matzav has much company along those lines. But there is no excuse for politicizing a tragedy like this.

Let us examine for a moment the charge that he is some kind of anti Semite. It can’t be for his lack of support of the state of Israel. Because as I have pointed out many times that wouldn’t be true. Is it because of his former association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright (he was his pastor) – who is demonstrably anti-Semitic? That argument may have played well during the first election 4 years ago. But any claims to that effect now are simply wrong and so ridiculous that one would have to be blind deaf and dumb to believe it.

The fact is that he not only respects the Jewish people, he respects those of us who observe the Mitzvos. So much so that he actually goes out of his way to make sure observant Jews in his administration do not violate Halacha. If that is a surprise to anyone they should read an article about the President’s relationship with his Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, an Orthodox Jew. From theForward article:

When Jack Lew was appointed chief of staff to President Obama in January, many in the Jewish community wondered how he could observe Shabbat in such a demanding position.

Luckily, Lew has the most powerful man in the world to keep track of time as the sun starts to dip low in the sky on Friday afternoons.

“I saw the president on many occasions on Friday afternoons look at his watch, and ask: ‘Isn’t it time for you to get going?’” Lew said, “or, ‘Why are you still here?’ The president was not checking the clock “because he doesn’t think I can keep time,” Lew said. Rather, the extra care on this issue reflects the President’s wish “to remind me that it’s important to him, not just to me, that I be able to make that balance.”

Lew, who is Orthodox, revealed the details about his keeping Shabbat in an extraordinary interview with the Forward that touched on his need to observe the Jewish holy day.

“And he’s respected that time and again,” the chief of staff said of Obama.

So much for his anti-Semitism!

One thing this storm has done is to give the President an advantage in the election this coming Tuesday. If there are no glitches, the President gets to look Presidential. This is something Romney can’t do. He is only a candidate. He can replace campaign speeches at political rallies with humanitarian drives for victims of the hurricane. But that is not the same as standing with the governor of the most devastated state and promising them all the federal help he can – as quickly as he can. Romney cannot look Presidential because he is not the President. Yet (if ever).

This will surely tip the close race in the President’s favor. But I hope it doesn’t. Although as I said above, I don’t think Obama is a bad President, I don’t think he is the best President for the country right now for reasons I stated in my post endorsing Romney. Reasons having to do with the economy and foreign policy.

We need a change at the top. That is still the bottom line for me. I am grateful for the service the President has given to this country and for the good and decent man that he is. But it takes more than that to be a good President.

Does Romney have what it takes? I’m not sure, but I don’t think four more years of Obama will change the domestic and foreign situation for the better all that much. It’s time to let someone else try. I don’t think anyone world say that Romney is not a good and decent man – much the same way the President is. Let’s hope he’s elected and makes a better President.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Harry Maryles

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

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  1. Chas Holman says:

    Turn out the Lights, the party's over.

    Barack Obama, 2012~!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Obama for Prez!

  3. Chaiya Eitan says:

    In spite of all the accolades this author heaps on Obama, he wants Romney to be President….

  4. Fash Fadaei says:

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day… doesn't mean you should keep it on the wall!

  5. I never opposed President Obama because I thought he was against Jews per se.

    I opposed him because I thought his views of Israel are wrong.

    I think Senator Dianne Feinstein has terrible views about never striking Iran even if it develops its nuclear weapons.

    I don't think she hates Jews, I think she considers herself to be Jewish.

    You can love the Jewish people and for unrelated reasons end up doing nothing.
    while millions of them are murdered.

    This has already happened.

  6. Stan Chaz says:

    But at least Hurricane Sandy has done of us all a favor-
    by causing us to focus on Romney's skewed thinking:
    Consider Romney’s advice for storm & disaster survivors:
    "Don’t be a victim, and stop looking for handouts!"
    And…. ask your parents for help!
    Heck, Romney will dismantle FEMA and the EPA.
    (= more $$$ for his people/corporations).
    Leave it to the states, he says.
    Yeah, sure. The damage from Katrina was FOUR times Louisiana’a state budget!
    Maybe Romney will make us dams…. out of his used Etch-A-Sketches?
    What we need is a tidal wave…….of voters…..
    to sweep these kind of guys out of power.
    THAT is the BEST way to help the victims of present and future Sandys….AND….the best way to help yourself, and your family.
    Obama does not dismiss 47% of America like Romney.
    Obama says: This is not a Republican America.
    This is not a Democratic America.
    This is the UNITED States of America.
    p.s. This is not mere rhetoric. For in many ways, Mitt Romney's opposition to federal disaster relief programs is what the election is all about. President Barack Obama supports using government to help those in a crisis get back on their feet. Mitt Romney believes that government has no role in helping people who are dealing with disaster. Those two very different views of America's future are on the ballot next week. Your choice. Choose well. Choose as if your life depended on it.
    Because some day…..it just might.
    Come on Mitt, let’s be honest:
    And your saints are those who have the most money….. those who want to BUY this ELECTION – and this COUNTRY……and TO HELL with the rest of us.
    They try to drown us out with their dollars.
    But WE still have a voice. And it’s called our VOTE.
    We need a President for ALL the people –
    NOT a President of the wealthy, by the wealthy,
    and for the wealthy. And for sure, that ain’t you Mitt…..

  7. Rc Fowler says:

    You are an ignorant fool–and not pro Israel!

  8. Rc Fowler says:

    Another stupid fool–who does not genuinely support Israel–but rather whores himself to the anti-Semite Barack Obama and the anti-Semitical democrat party!

  9. Rc Fowler says:

    Barack Obama was not helped by Sandy–even with the bend over backwards ass kissing RINO Christy and the media whores!

  10. Rc Fowler says:

    Mr. Katz, If people genuinely love Jewish people–they do not do nothing–if a man or woman's views about Israel are wrong–then they are wrong! How can one rightly separate a mans beliefs from the man? they cannot.

    As for Diane Feinstein–she is a self hating, God hating, Israel hating Marxist Jewish dog!

  11. Rc Fowler says:

    "The president is a good and honorable man." really? and this comes from a rabbi–a man who is supposed to live according to God's word.

    How can a man be "good and honorable" when he supports the abomination of so called but not homosexual "marriage"? when he votes repeatedly for the murder of partial birth abortion–even the murder of those who were born? who bends over backwards to support Godless Islam and works to divide the land of Israel–to a sane and moral man he cannot be and is not!

    Barack Obama is a sociopath.

    The author one Harry Maryles–is obviously mentally and spiritually Ill–as such he is out of touch with reality; this man like many of his Jewish ancestors has gone whoring after Godless evil–and we know what happened to them because of it; Harry Maryles is the type who has no legitimate place in Israel–because he is not sanctifying Israel–but rather he is defiling Israel–and arrogantly so!

  12. Mr. Fowler, Thank you for putting into words what has been in my thoughts without an appropriate way to express them.

  13. what disgraceful comments! It must be the poisoned gefilte fish you're all eating.

  14. Rc Fowler says:

    You're welcome Ms. Miller-Caruso.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of wasted space, time and energy over what? Who cares what this guy thinks. One thing is clear, the US is falling, the dollar is plummeting, the constitution is destroyed, there are no real leaders there, only pawns in the game of the RICH ELITE who now own the country and do whatever the hell they want regardless. OBAMA isn't in any real position of power, and neither will he do what he says he will do. Can any real NOBLE, HONEST and INTELLIGENT leadership arise from the USA? Only a rhetorical question. Can you get a silk purse from a sow's ear?

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