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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘candidate’

Humble Pie

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Now, there’s a fine exercise in the diplomatic niceties one must endure when one is prime minister of a small state in the near east, surrounded by enemies, with few friends to spare, and one’s favorite candidate has come up short.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) met on Wednesday with U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, to congratulate him on his boss’s win the night before. Both men knew the score, both knew that if the other guy had won there would have been a genuine, huge smile on Bibi’s face, but God, as usual, insisted on His mysterious ways, and so, there you go.

If I were Bibi, then after that obligatory meeting I would have locked myself in my office with a good book and a box of Lady Godiva rich Belgian chocolates and sulked for a couple of hours.

Of all the things our side has lost last Tuesday, losing the chance for the inside track to the White House was the most painful. We’re doing OK with the Kremlin, but we desperately need someone who knows someone on Pennsylvania Avenue. Israel can’t afford four years of tense relations with the second term prez.

How’s about renaming Dizengoff Street  “Obama Boulevard”?

Yori Yanover

American Voters In Israel Make Their Mark On Two Electoral Fronts

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

JERUSALEM – More than 100,000 American voters in Israel cast their ballots for a presidential candidate, with nearly 80,000 of them having submitted a ballot provided by iVoteIsrael, a local non-profit organization that spent the past few months aggressively encouraging American expatriates living in Israel to register and vote. The remaining registered voters cast their ballots via the absentee route.

Due to what was expected to be a tight race for the White House between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, Israeli-based representatives of both political parties said that the overseas vote could possibly influence the final tally in some battleground states. The iVoteIsrael organization estimated that 7,500 Americans living in Israel are registered in Florida, and 3,500 in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

According to an exit poll conducted by iVoteIsrael among 1,572 voters who cast their ballots in Israel, Romney received 85 percent of the vote. But Democratic Party representatives in Israel charged that the poll was skewed since iVoteIsrael was successful in registering mostly traditional and Orthodox American voters, whose political leanings are considered to be more conservative.

Similarly, American immigrants living in Israel might have an impact on a possibly changing political landscape in the January 22 Israeli elections. At least three Americans are vying for viable positions on various Knesset slates. Primaries for most of the major Israeli political factions will take place in the coming weeks.

The most well known English-speaking candidate is affluent former hi-tech whiz Naftali Bennett, who served from 2006-2008 as then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff and is a former director general of the Yesha Council. Bennett, the 40-year-old son of American immigrants, is a leader of the rightist My Israel movement.

Bennett is virtually guaranteed to garner enough support to be placed among the top five slots on the Jewish Home Knesset list. According to recent polls, the merger between Jewish Home and the National Union could bring the reinvigorated religious Zionist political faction up to 10 seats in the elections. Jeremy Gimpel, who is originally from Atlanta and who has gained a local and international Internet audience as co-host of the “Tuesday Night Live” talk show in Jerusalem, is also running for a feasible slot on the Jewish Home Knesset list.

Staten Island native Daniel Tauber recently announced his candidacy for the 35th spot on the Likud Party’s primary list, which is reserved for “young political activists.” The 29-year-old lawyer-turned-politician is the executive director of “Likud Anglos.” As the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu are running a combined Knesset list in the upcoming elections, Tauber’s chances of entering the Israeli parliament would be a long shot.

Steve K. Walz

Can Romney Win? A Tale of Three Maps

Monday, November 5th, 2012

I’m addicted to the website Real Clear Politics, like most political junkies, and these past few weeks I’ve increased my dose several times over. The last time I was this engaged in a presidential campaign was back in 2004, when, a couple of days before V-day the swing states, as if magically, lined up for Democratic candidate John Kerry. So I went with a Kerry prediction, which made me look like a total goat – in fact, a few loving readers, God bless their hearts, emailed me goat images for my personal amusement (and theirs).

I’m not doing that again. But I’ve been staring at the RCP maps for a whole lot of time and it looks like Obama has not been able to shake off the Romney hold, has not managed to break away from the tie. Today, 11/05/2012, Obama has 47.9% of the national vote, compared with Romney’s 47.4%. Yesterday – exactly the same numbers. Saturday, 11/03/2012, Obama 47.4%, Romney 47.2%. Romney’s numbers are tenacious, they’re not going to change come election day, in terms of the national vote. So, it comes down to the swing states’ vote.

Here’s the way the vote looks today in the states:

Clearly, neither candidate has been able to get even close to the needed 270 electoral votes. They’ve been stuck with these numbers since the debates, and the numbers show that the country, both on a national and on a state-by-state level, thinks both candidates are equally qualified for the job. That, by itself, is a big advantage for Romney. But it doesn’t seem to be enough to get him through the finish line. In fact, judging by the 2004 election, the close vote goes to the incumbent.

This is the map of the Tuesday, 11/6/2012 vote, if every swing state where Obama is leading goes to him, and every Romney-leaning state goes to Romney.

Obama wins handily. It’ll be far from a landslide, but a win is a win is win, and President Barack Obama will have received a mandate from the nation to carry out his agenda for four more years.

What options are open to Romney?

There’s one blue state in which the Obama lead is around half a percentage point, which means he has no lead at all. That’s Colorado. On the unhappy map above it shows blue, but, in reality, it could just as well be showing red. Romney can take Colorado, it’s a realistic expectation.

Colorado delivers 9 electoral votes. If Romney wins, his tally goes up to 257, Obama’s goes down to 281. That’s not enough, obviously.

Which brings us back to the ancient truism about Republican candidates after WW2 having to win Ohio. Take a look at the map – Ohio brings 18 seats. With all other states staying as they are, a red Ohio takes Romney/Ryan to the White House.

What are Romeny’s chances of winning Ohio? Surprisingly good. The RCP average gives Ohio to Obama right now at 2.9% advantage over Romney (49.4% – 46.5%). That’s just outside the margin of error, which means, with a lot of help from the weather, a get-out-the-vote infrastructure, the governor (Republican) and the secretary of state (Republican), and many local events – Ohio could just as easily go red as it could go blue.

Come back to the Jewish Press website election night, we’re planning to open a live chat forum for pundits and readers, yapping about the one thing about which we can no longer do anything…

By the way, the Redskins have lost their most recent game, which is one of the signs that the incumbent in Washington loses. See? We’re very scientific over here, at the Jewish Press online.

Yori Yanover

After Sandy, Volunteers Crisscross Manhattan to Help

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

In a nearly dark corner of lower Manhattan, in an area otherwise known as Tribeca, Rabbi Zalman Paris stands tall, cellular phone in hand, to answer another call from a young volunteer eager to offer assistance. Days after Hurricane Sandy left millions across New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey without electricity, food or water, there are plenty of people who want to help victims and their communities recover.

From his window, Paris, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Tribeca and SoHo, watched the storm hurl itself into the homes and lives of residents nearby. The storm prevented him from venturing outdoors, but the moment he was able to, the rabbi assembled a plan and a team to help his neighbors.

“Many organizations have joined us in our efforts to help those in need during this hard time,” he said.

Paris partnered with Rabbi Levi Shmotkin of Chabad Young Professionals, Ari Teman of JCorps, and Julie Menin, a candidate for Manhattan Borough President.

“We brought in a paramedic to aid the elderly, who with no way out of their buildings needed immediate medical attention,” Shmotkin relayed.

Menin detailed that she kept the 10,000 people on her contact list updated by email.

“People would email that they needed food, water, diapers and baby formula. I then sent an email blast to Rabbi Paris,” said Menin.

All told, more than 100 volunteers traversed lower Manhattan, crisscrossing the city’s streets to visit nearly 3,000 apartment units in one day alone.

One longtime JCorps volunteer named Jillian described her experience as “eye opening.” More than 100 volunteers assisted the Tribeca effort.

“Today we visited some housing developments of the lower east side to bring food and water to the elderly and disabled citizens who are without,” she said. “You really become thankful for what you do have during a time like this.”

With the Sabbath approaching, they are hoping that the electricity will be restored.

“We may not have power, but we will definitely be spending the Sabbath with the many people and volunteers who are here with us,” said Paris. “Although many fled the neighborhood prior to the storm, our focus was on those that didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Chabad.org

Mitt Romney for President

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

I am not a partisan voter. My voting record clearly shows that. Here is my voting record since 1968:

Humphrey (D) McGovern (D) Carter (D) Reagan (R) Reagan (R) Bush (41) (R) Clinton (D) Clinton (D) Gore (D) Bush (43) (R) McCain (R)

I choose candidates based on who I think will be do the best job for the country, for Israel, and for the Jewish people. I do not vote by party.

Although I have finally made my decision – for the first time I am not as sure as I usually am about which candidate will actually be the better President.

The last debate added nothing toward that end. The two candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remain the same in my eyes. Their views were not made clearer at all on any of the issues that are important to the American people nor to me as a Jew.

I recently wrote that their views on Israel though not identical are both positive – and not all that dissimilar. I also said that for the first time my decision would not be based on that issue. Instead -“It’s (still) the economy, Stupid!” Of course the economy matters to Jews just as much as it does to everyone else. But it is definitely not a Jewish issue.

I do not see any break away solutions by either candidate. The President’s policies have thus far not done the job. Unemployment is still high – as are gas prices. His stimulus polices haven’t really helped all that much. The deficit is soaring . He is also over focusing on environmental issues – by over regulating businesses and preventing more opportunities to become energy independent. That too stifles economic growth. And adds to the deficit

His counter to that is that a divided congress is holding him back from doing more. And that his energy policies are the most productive in history. But that doesn’t explain why he didn’t do more to fix the economy during the first 2 years of his administration when he had a bullet proof congress. Instead he focused on a passing a controversial health care bill that contributes to the exploding deficit.

Romney on the other hand wants to implement a supply side economic policy that lowers taxes for everyone. He says that small businessmen many of whom file individual tax returns would be hurt by the higher taxes the Obama administration wants to impose on them and that would dis-incentivize them from investing the capital they need to grow their businesses and hire new people.

The President countered that Romney’s economic policy does not add up and that it would either explode the deficit even further, or that he would have to cut popular deductions like mortgage interest to make up for the loss.

Romney says that he would go full bore into developing all sources of energy including off shore drilling and do things like extending the Canadian pipeline (which the President rejected).

Obama also claims that he has actually increased oil production under his administration.

Romney would increase the military budget to restore it to the levels that existed before the Obama military budget cuts.

Obama says that the military doesn’t need to be as large and expensive as is used to be – even according the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Increasing the military budget will only grow the deficit.

How the President will grow the economy is still a mystery to me. Platitudes like “the rich must pay their fair share” are meaningless hyperbole designed to appeal to class envy in my view.

He has had four years to fix the economy and he hasn’t done it yet. He still blames Bush saying he inherited this mess from him – and that it was much worse than anyone thought. He touts the fact that in spite of that – the economy has still improved. Though admittedly only slightly. He now claims he needs more time and a willing congress.

Romney says Obama’s polices have failed and it’s time for someone else with a different approach to try. He claims his business experience will help him achieve more private sector jobs and a return to a healthy economy.

Harry Maryles

‘Career Politicians Are What’s Killing Us’: An Interview with Councilman and Congressional Candidate Dan Halloran

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran is looking to pull off a BobTurner-like victory as a Republican congressional candidate in a predominantly Democratic Queens congressional district (the newly redistricted 6th CD).

Halloran, 40, is a lawyer who worked in private practice and as a prosecutor for several district attorneys before being elected in 2009 to the City Council. He recently spoke with The Jewish Press.

The Jewish Press: How did you get your start in politics and what attracted you to it?

As an attorney I’d always been peripherally interested in politics, interested in the policies that drive our legislation. I grew up in a very tight-knit Irish Catholic family with roots in the political world. My father was a deputy commissioner in the Koch administration, my great-grandfather was a chief of police, and my cousin, Lieutenant Vincent G. Halloran, an FDNY First Responder, died on 9/11. But in 2009, one year into the Obama administration, I became very concerned about the direction in which our country was headed.

You’re a Republican who has been endorsed by the Libertarian party. Though much of fiscal conservative and libertarian philosophy overlap, there’s a sharp difference when it comes to foreign policy. Can you explain your views on both?

I’m what’s called a right libertarian or constitutional libertarian. I believe very firmly that our economic policy has to be market driven; that over-taxation will be the death of the republic. I believe very strongly in the Constitution itself and staying within the four corners of that document. I think we have expanded the commerce clause to mean almost anything and it’s absurd. That’s the libertarian side of the coin.

But as a right libertarian, my perspective on foreign policy is that the world is such a convoluted place right now that what we should do in the ideal is not practical. We give seven times as much money to Israel’s enemies as we give to Israel. And you can’t wonder why Egypt has an authoritarian Islamic regime when we’re the ones who helped topple a stable, albeit non-democratic, regime. Now we see the fallout in Syria, in Yemen, in Libya. Once we’ve destabilized that region we see what the consequences are. We have an ambassador dead, our embassies stormed…. And threats continue.

Do you feel the policies of the Obama administration, particularly during the Arab Spring, increased those threats and what advice can you offer to address them?

It wasn’t a spring; it was the beginning of a winter. Obama ushered it in under the feigned promotion of democracy – one man, one vote. And what it’s been is one man, one vote, one time. After that you will not see democracy; you will see theocracy.

There are things we can do about this crisis. America should maintain its military presence vis-à-vis Israel and we should keep the fleet there to ensure that the trading waters are open for business. Foremost, we need to cut off economic aid to any country that defies our foreign policy perspectives, and that should include humanitarian assistance. Look, I understand the notion of fostering amity, but there’s a bottom line. And the bottom line is if you want our help, you have to play on our team. And if you’re not willing to, then go your own way. Because what happens is that when you give them humanitarian aid, they’re able to divert the resources they do have to war and violence.

Hamas is a perfect example of how through bad foreign policy we’ve armed the enemy, given them legitimacy, and now a stage to act on, an appearance of being legitimate. Yet all we’ve done is undermine Israel’s national security, which in turn undermines ours because it’s the only stable, democratic rule-of-law government there…. There’s a perception in the world that we no longer stand with our allies and that we will only pay lip service to longstanding relationships.

You traveled to Israel this past summer with the International Committee for the Land of Israel. Can you describe how seeing the facts on the ground affected your perception?

It made it more real. But I’ve always been a hawk. In that respect I am a right-wing Republican. I’ve always supported settlements, because if the rule of law applies, then whether you’re black or white, Christian or Jew, it shouldn’t matter where you live as long as you lawfully purchase property there. For us or the UN to say unilaterally you may not buy land there because you are a Jew would be the equivalent of my saying if you’re Catholic you can’t move into Williamsburg because you’re not an Orthodox Jew or you’re a black man you can’t move into [a white neighborhood]. Really? Would that stand up in some court of law somewhere in the United States? That would never be tolerated. Yet when the world community tells Israel the very same thing, somehow it’s okay because it involves Islam.

Sara Lehmann

Topics For Third Presidential Debate – This One’s On Foreign Policy

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Bob Schieffer of CBS News is the moderator for the final presidential debate which takes place tonight, October 22, at 9:00 p.m. ET in the Lynn University auditorium in Boca Raton, Florida.  Schieffer chose and announced the topics which will be addressed – subject to late-breaking news.  They are, in random order:

America’s Role in the World

Our Longest War – Afghanistan and Pakistan

Red Lines: Israel and Iran

The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism I

The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism II

The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s Word

The issue of what happened in Benghazi, Libya in September 11, 2012 is likely to come up in at least one if not several of the different topic areas.  President Obama will seek to put a definitive end to the questioning about how his administration handled the crisis, and presidential-hopeful Mitt Romney will seek to lay out the inconsistencies in the narratives presented by this administration over the course of the six weeks since the tragedy.

The consequences of the “Arab Spring” is likely to come up during at least one of the topics, as will the question of whether or not terrorism is being routed by President Obama’s policies, or whether it is in the rise, in part because of the president’s policies.

The decision to leave Afghanistan and the continued drone policy favored by President Obama is also likely to be discussed tonight.

Israel is most likely to be discussed in the “Iran Red Line” topic, and each candidate will try to show why he is the candidate whose policies will be most effective in protecting Israel and promoting regional stability.

An economic aspect of foreign policy may come up in the form of a question about the European financial crisis and what role the United States should play in addressing that problem.  In addition, questions about the economic fallout of China’s ever-growing and influential role in the global economy is sure to further highlight the stark differences between the two candidates.

The format will be six 15-minute segments addressing each of the different topics.

Bob Schieffer has been with CBS News for more than 30 years.  He has covered all four major beats in Washington – the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill.  Schieffer has covered every presidential race since 1972.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

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