Posts Tagged ‘Republican’
The Republican Jewish Coalition on Tuesday launched an online campaign focusing on Prof. Cornel West, Congressman Keith Ellison, and pollster and Arab American leader James Zogby as the “face of the new Democratic party.” The first video, depicting a West vehement anti-Netanyahu speech, associates him with Hillary Clinton. It’s unfair, but effective. All three individuals, who are, indeed, members of the Democratic platform committee, represent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and it is expected that their anti-Israel views would be quashed by the majority of platform committee members picked by Clinton and by DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Nevertheless, an unfair blow is a blow, and this one is delivered expertly.
“Radical Democrat. Stridently anti-Israel. Hand selected to be a member of the twenty sixteen Democrat Platform Committee,” goes the voice over in the three separate ads, each dedicated to one of Sanders’ three anti-Israel picks.
All three ads conclude with an unflattering portrait of Hillary Clinton and the slogan, “Sadly this isn’t the old Democratic Party. It’s today’s Democratic Party.”
The three ads are a masterpiece in terms of ideas and execution. They are visually rich, poignant, and real, in terms of the three anti-Israeli gentlemen they attack. The ads will run only online, which should be a relief for the Clinton campaign, because these ads kill.
According to Jacob Kornbluh, reporting for the Jewish Insider, there have already been strong disagreements between the three Bernie men and the rest of the platform committee. When representatives of the committee met in Washington, DC, this month for a public hearing, West said: “For too long the Democratic Party has been beholden to AIPAC.” He also suggested that “for so long the US has been so biased toward Israeli security.” These are third-rail kind of words, guaranteed to drive away Jewish voters and donors alike, should they ever see the light of day. West, who, unfortunately, has a great sense of humor, also asked how the Democratic Party would have responded if there were “a Palestinian occupation of our precious Jewish brothers and sisters.”
Zogby in his turn insisted that the word “occupation” be included in the platform, because, let’s face it, “it has been recognized by every US administration that there is an occupation. Would you not feel that it is more important to include the word ‘occupation’ which our president, this current president has mentioned and every previous president has mentioned, as a way simply of clarifying that to get to two states an occupation has to end?”
Yes, especially if you’re hoping for one Donald J. Trump to take the Oval office come January.
The National Jewish Democratic Council accused the RJC ads of attacking “the only consistently pro-Israel nominee in this race.” The NJDC also predicted that “this is going to be a tough year for RJC – all while more and more of their people are standing with Israel and strengthening the US-Israel relationship by abandoning Trump.”
Perhaps. It’s possible that many Jewish voters who are traditionally inclined to vote Democrat know the difference between Sanders’ and Clinton’s proxies on the platform committee, and since there is no way in the world any of the West-Zogby-Ellison claptrap will ever make it into the Democratic platform, the damage from the ads would likely be minimal.
But they are killer ads nonetheless.David Israel
Donald Trump now has the number of delegates needed to become the GOP presidential nominee, according to AP. Trump reached the magic number, 1,237 delegates, after a group of uncommitted party delegates had told AP they now support Trump. The official chart on Thursday put Trump’s delegate count at 1,238, with 335 delegates still left unpicked.
The delegates who pledged their loyalty to Trump included Oklahoma Republican Party Chairwoman Pam Pollard. She told AP that Trump “has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is.” (Although a short review of the world’s map revealed that our country is still where it’s always been, smack between Canada and Mexico).
Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House was another delegate who turned to Trump, explaining that “leadership is leadership.” (It really is).
Pennsylvania delegate Cameron Linton told AP that Trump had won his state’s primary, and so he plans to support him, but only on the first ballot at the Convention in July, and not on a second ballot, because “he’s ridiculous. There’s no other way to say it.” (There won’t be a second ballot, by the way).
The Thursday Rasmussen Reports National Election poll show Trump and the presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton still neck and neck, giving Clinton 40% to Trump’s 39%. But a Tuesday NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which showed Clinton leading Trump 46% to 43%, also showed that close to 60% said they disliked Clinton, and 63% said they disliked Trump. Only 40% said they admired or liked Clinton, and only 36% felt the same way about Trump.David Israel
Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson has reportedly pledged $100 million, and possibly more, to help finance GOP candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The news was reported in the Friday’s edition (May 13) of the New York Times.
The two men met last week to discuss the issue, according to two nameless Republican sources quoted by NYT who said they were not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.
Adelson, 82, and his wife Miriam met with Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski at the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, while the couple were in town for a gala dinner to benefit a Jewish organization.
During their chat, Trump reportedly told the Adelsons he is dedicated to protecting Israel’s security.
The billionaire has financed Republican causes over the years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars – but this year he plans to scale back contributions to Congressional campaigns to focus on helping Trump, according to the report.
There is, however, the thorny problem of logistics: there is a limit on how much money a single individual can give to political campaigns in the United States. In order to give really “big” money, one requires a “super PAC” — super political action committee.
On Thursday, one such group announced it would aim to raise $20 million for Trump. The Committee for American Sovereignty was formed by Doug Watts, a former aide to Ben Carson’s campaign. Watts now serves as the executive director of the group, which he said “will not accept special interest PAC contributions.”
However, up to this week Trump had not yet decided whether he will allow PACs to help finance his campaign. Last October he disavowed nine unauthorized groups and demanded they return all funds they had raised to support his campaign. It seems that now, however, he has come to the realization that for a general campaign there is no way he can gather the needed $1.5 billion through individual contributions alone. Several of the bigger powerhouse Republican superPACs are quietly gearing up to begin the job of rounding up their major givers — something that Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton had already gotten busy with months ago — and have hired top-flight fundraisers and campaign managers to crank up the party machine.
Meanwhile, Adelson explained his reasons for throwing his support behind his fellow business mogul in an op-ed he wrote that was published in Friday’s Washington Post: “He is a candidate with actual CEO experience, shaped and molded by the commitment and risk of his own money rather than the public’s.
“I am endorsing Trump’s bid for president and strongly encourage my fellow Republicans – especially our Republican elected officials, party loyalists and operatives, and those who provide important financial backing – to do the same,” Adelson wrote.Hana Levi Julian
GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz had the audience all to himself Saturday, and he took the opportunity to warn Jewish Republicans about the dangers of voting for Donald Trump.
He told his audience that such a vote would be an “absolute disaster” for the GOP, “for conservatives and for the country.”
There were about 500 people at the weekend gathering in Las Vegas of the Republican Jewish Coalition, most of whom were still pretty neutral. The “can’t miss” Republican event is held at the hotel resort of billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the top political spender in the last political race.
“All three candidates were invited to attend our group today, but Sen. Cruz was the only one to accept our invitation,” said RJC board member Michael Epstein as the crowd applauded.
Trump and Kasich were both in New York, gearing up for the April 19 primary election.
“Many are scared by the concept of Donald Trump and the presidency,” Republican Jewish attorney Charlie Spies, a former supporter of Jeb Bush, told the Daily Mail. “No American politician should be compared to Hitler because of the unique, horrific nature of the Nazi genocide. Having said that, there is an issue of tone and being able to whip up crowds, often directed at segments of society that get scapegoated. Anybody who has studied history would be concerned watching that.”
Of the three Republican candidates who remain, Ohio Governor John Kasich is the overwhelming favorite among registered Jewish voters, according to a poll commissioned by the Republican Jewish Coalition and shared privately this weekend with board members. Cruz falls in the middle.
The Texas senator won the recent primary in Wisconsin and in Colorado on Saturday, and is working now to consolidate those Republican donors who are most opposed to a Trump candidacy. Cruz will still have to work hard to transform those donors from anti-Trump to pro-Cruz voters; he still has to neutralize a threat from Kasich, whose presence could split a vote and destroy Cruz’s chance to overcome Trump’s lead, if nothing more.
In New York he may have a better chance to make a dent in Trump’s popularity edge that one might realize.
“Cruz has been reaching out to that community for a long time,” Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center told CNN this weekend.
Cruz appeals to the strictly observant Jewish community, Diament said, in part due to his Senatorial record of support for Israel, his school choice advocacy and his relentless insistence on the need to defend religious liberty protections on the campaign trail.
“Orthodox Jewry is a sort of values-based community and Cruz certainly presents himself like a values-based person … And he uses language that resonates with people of faith, so there’s a connection there,” Diament said. A more important point — unlike Trump, Cruz also has a real track record to refer to, he noted.Hana Levi Julian
There is a great deal at stake for Americans voting in this year’s U.S. presidential elections — but at least as much is riding on the results for the State of Israel.
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been one of the few candidates in the race to insist he would maintain neutrality when dealing with Israel and the Palestinian Authority from the White House.
Israeli Jews surveyed so far have nevertheless expressed more faith in his ability to deal fairly with Israel than any of the other candidates.
This may be due to Trump’s blunt, “in your face” style – the very characteristic that so alienates some of his American audiences – but which is similar to a large percentage of Israelis in the Jewish State.
It is far easier to deal with a person who is “up front” about their intentions, one might say, than a smiling politician who hides the weapon. Moreover, Trump pulls no punches about dealing with tough situations in a like manner – a necessary Middle Eastern attitude.
But probably the biggest factor in his popularity has to do with his willingness to simply say he will be neutral in dealing with both sides.
At an MSNBC town hall meeting in South Carolina on Feb. 17, Trump described a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as “probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make.” What he did promise was that if he were elected president, he would “give it one hell of a shot.” This was a deal in which he would act as “sort of a neutral guy,” he said. Wisely, when asked whose fault it was that no agreement had been reached so far, he deflected the question – and did not blame either side.
That is the mark of a real negotiator, one who has the seasoned skills of someone who has been at the table for a very long time. It gives the lie to those who claim Trump lacks foreign policy experience; they forget that Trump has been dealing with political leaders around the world for years while cutting deals in nations on different continents for his various business interests.
Israelis have too often heard American politicians claim their undying support of Israel only to throw the Jewish State under the bus as they try to “bring peace” to the Middle East.
However, at a Republican debate held on CNN, Trump did comment at one point: “It doesn’t help if I start saying, ‘I am very pro-Israel, very pro, more than anybody on this stage… With that being said, I am totally pro-Israel.” But he was unwilling to go farther, and made no promises whatsoever. Certainly no promise to ‘bring peace to the Middle East.’
Nearly every single U.S. presidential candidate has vowed to move the American embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem – and not one has done it once taking office.
Every American president swears up and down about the “unbreakable bond” between the two countries – but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama from freezing the supply of basic military equipment and ordnance in the middle of Israel’s defensive counter terrorist war with Hamas in the summer of 2014.
Promises are one thing and action is quite another, and if Israelis have learned anything, it is to know not to depend on fancy promises. So when a guy like Trump says he will be neutral, after flowery vows of endless support – that gets the attention of Israelis who are really sick of making that run for the bomb shelters.
Trump’s style and substance is straightforward, simple and different. He’s making no promises and no pretensions to expertise. He is an executive who says he’ll run the country pretty much the same way – by hiring top experts to do what they do best, in the areas of their specialization.Hana Levi Julian
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush made one of the most painful decisions of his life Saturday night: he suspended his 2016 campaign to run for president of the United States.
Bush ran his campaign on his track record, his common sense and his solid background of success. One would think that would have been enough to at least have brought him into the top circle.
He is ethical, knowledgeable, smart, and has a great track record.
But in the age of glitzy multi-media, the Harry Truman thing is no longer enough.
Worse, Bush has two prior presidents in the family that he either had to live up to, or to live down. In either case, they were shadows that followed him wherever he went.
Hillary Clinton’s own historic shadow was right there beside her and able to ride the glitzy 21st century wave of technology. But for the most part, Bush’s shadows mostly left him to face the public alone at every stage. It was only in South Carolina that the family came out to help – and it was too little, too late.
Especially when it came to appearing before the cameras: a place where Bush often appeared awkward and uncomfortable. His body language lacked confidence; when he spoked – always courteous, educated, to the point – his voice held no authority. He shined at Town Hall meetings: but America’s presidential campaigns no longer really depend on these since the country has grown so large, and broadcast media reigns supreme.
When the voters are watching the candidates on television, focus groups interviewed after the debates or the broadcast Town Hall meetings explain: They’re not looking for a micro-manager – presidents HIRE experts. What voters in America look for is a qualified executive who will lead: someone who is knowledgeable, ethical but authoritative and who automatically attracts a nation’s respect.
The media mavens who worked with Jeb Bush either did not work with him long enough, or he wasn’t paying attention. Or maybe he secretly just didn’t want this job bad enough – also a distinct possibility.
(Ted Cruz – Trump’s closest competitor — incidentally, is another candidate who either should be paying more attention to his media mavens – or should change the ones he is working with. He too has major issues with his body language and vocal delivery. Cruz is a candidate who should have easily bypassed Trump by now – but Trump has him beat by a country mile due to his charisma problem.)
In any case on Saturday night, Bush, 63, had enough.
When it was clear he would not even be able to pull South Carolina, where the Bush family is really well-loved, Bush told his supporters: “The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken and I really respect their decision, so tonight I am suspending my campaign,” he said. The audience gasped, according to CNN, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
But really, it’s no surprise. What’s surprising is that he was able to hang on this long.Hana Levi Julian