web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



TALK TO THE PRO

Romney’s Frum Adviser Sums Up Campaign

Had Mitt Romney won the presidential election, Tevi Troy would be director of domestic policy on his transition team.

Tevi Troy

Tevi Troy

I think those are real and significant differences. I also think there were clearly rough and cold relations between the two countries for at least the first three years of the Obama administration, and I don’t think any fair observer can claim otherwise.

To what do you attribute the administration’s colder attitude toward Israel?

I don’t know. [Political pundit] Peter Beinart argues that Obama didn’t really know a lot about Israel growing up in Indonesia and Hawaii, and that his first real education on Israel came from some very liberal Jews in Chicago. That’s one theory.

Another theory is that he came to the White House and thought he was going to reset relations with the whole world. He thought if he was colder toward Israel, the Arab world would be warmer towards us.

In your upcoming book, What Washington Read, Eisenhower Watched, and Obama Tweeted, you write that Obama is unusually well versed in pop culture. Can you elaborate?

He watched a lot of television growing up and continues to watch television to an extent that I think is unusual for a president. “ESPN SportsCenter” is one of his favorite shows. He also likes “The Wire”; “Modern Family,” which he watches with Michelle; “Homeland”; “Boardwalk Empire”; and “Mad Men.” So he does watch a lot of TV.

I’m not a prude about pop culture. But I also think there are great ideas that have created our civilization that our founders were immersed in – great ideas about what leads to good government and the proper role of government in society. I think we as a nation benefited from the founders’ immersion in those ideas, and I think presidents should at least take some time to focus on these issues as well.

Your first book, Intellectuals and the American Presidency, was published in 2002 and hence obviously did not include anything on Obama. If you had to add an Obama chapter to that book, what would be in it?

Well, I effectively did add an Obama chapter. I wrote a long article for National Affairs about Bush and Obama. I argued that Bush tried really hard – he read a great deal – to reach out to intellectuals, but no matter what he did he couldn’t quite get their approval. Obama, on the other hand, doesn’t even seem to try that hard. As I said, he watches a lot of TV and there are some indications that he doesn’t read as much as his fans suggest he does. He was once asked what he was reading and he said he barely has time to floss and watch SportsCenter. Nevertheless, the intellectuals seem to fall all over him and praise him at every opportunity.

You worked in government for 12 years, Jack Lew is currently Obama’s chief of staff, Joseph Lieberman has been a U.S. senator for 24 years…. Are we seeing more Orthodox Jews than ever before in government?

It’s hard to [know for sure], but I think there are more doors open for Orthodox Jews in politics than ever before and you see them appearing in senior positions.

Is that good, bad, significant, insignificant…?

I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s good for the Orthodox community to have its perspectives heard and that people don’t just see Jews as a secular community. I also think it’s good for America. Folding in different voices and perspectives is one of our strengths, so I want to see that continue.

Was your Orthodox observance ever an issue in your years in government?

There were times I couldn’t work because of Shabbat or holidays, but for the most part I found people very accommodating….

When I worked in the White House, I had to be at work at such an early time that I couldn’t daven at home, so I had to daven in the White House with my tefillin. A couple of times people walked in on me, but that’s fine.

So yeah, when you’re an observant Jew, it’s always an issue to some extent in that it’s a daily part of your life, but it was never a deterrent or an obstacle.

Fifty years ago, Orthodox Jews generally did not wear yarmulkes at work. Today, most do. What was your practice while working for Bush and Romney?

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “Romney’s Frum Adviser Sums Up Campaign”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    "President Bush supported a two-state solution, but with the Palestinians having corresponding obligations."

    That is Obama's position.

    "President Bush did not want to have preconditions before getting to the negotiating table, whereas President Obama presumed to draw what the final lines were in his speech before Netanyahu’s visit a couple of years ago."

    That speech repeated Bush's policy as set forth in the Road Map.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.
Sleepless in Rishon Lezion, IDF Attacks in Gaza Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Rabbi Berel Wein

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Allen Fagin

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

If a child is seldom required to yield his desires and needs to those of others, surely doing so as an adult will not come naturally to him.

Wherever I was invited around the world, I always met with people and let them know that I wanted to hear great stories.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/an-orthodox-jew-in-republican-politics-an-interview-with-hudson-institute-senior-fellow-tevi-troy/2012/12/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: