web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘weiner’

Thompson Might Push Quinn Out of Runoff Contest Vs. Weiner

Friday, June 28th, 2013

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a staunch supporter of Christine Quinn who asked me to be frank in assessing Ms. Quinn’s chances of winning the race for mayor. “To be honest, I will have to wait for the next Marist poll to see whether her poll numbers stay at 24 percent or move ahead, or they continue to slide down towards 20 percent,” I responded.

My explanation was: Since Ms. Quinn has dropped from her peak at 38 percent in January to 24 in May, Weiner’s presence as a dominant figure in the race will determine what Christine Quinn’s ceiling and floor numbers are. “If Weiner moves up at the expense of Quinn, she’s in trouble, whereas if Weiner’s standing stays still or increases at the expense of the two Bills, then the race remains wide open,” I added.

Last night, after reviewing the poll data, I recalled my assessment to my friend and another operative and all I could imagine on the other side of the phone line was a head nodding in dismay.

This morning, I came across an identical assessment, based on the May Marist Poll prior to Tuesday night’s poll, by Harry J. Enten in the UK’s Guardian. “The big news is that the poll greatly upsets the general consensus that Quinn is a near lock to make the runoff. Quinn is at her weakest point in the past year,” he writes. “Quinn’s favorable numbers have, if you believe Quinnipiac, been falling among Democrats all year. She had a 64% favorable rating in January, 61% in February, 52% by late April, and will likely have 50% by late May.. What’s important to note here is that when controlling for pollsters, Quinn’s favorables have been falling steadily.”

More serious than just the tumbling favorables, Quinn’s current support is soft. In the Marist poll, only 30% of her voters strongly support her. In contrast, 39% of the overall electorate supports some candidate strongly, meaning Quinn has unusually dispassionate support. Weiner, meanwhile, who some thought was an anomaly of pure name recognition, has a far more fervent support: 43% of Weiner’s voters say they are strongly behind him.. The racial makeup of Quinn’s coalition suggests she’ll have further trouble. I’ve long argued that Quinn’s coalition is a house of cards built on support from minority voters, and that the strategy doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. She’s undermined by her own history, as when she blocked paid sick leave for an extended period, and she’s taken heat from minority groups for her position on stop-and-frisk. Quinn’s largely seen as something of an heir to the mayoralty of Mike Bloomberg, whose approval rating is at 49% among Democrats, but only at 42% among Latinos and 40% among African Americans. Quinn, on the other hand, scores 22% among white voters, 31% among Latinos and 26% among African Americans.

Thus, Enden confidently predicts: “I’m betting Bill Thompson will make the runoff. Per my math, a little less than half of Thompson’s supporters are with him strongly – far ahead of Quinn. He’s also a black candidate in a primary that is going to be near 30% African American, and New York City mayoral elections tend to break on ethnic and racial lines.. Bill Thompson is likely going to do better than polls suggest, and most of his untapped support is likely to come at Christine Quinn’s expense. Therefore, Quinn’s 24% may actually be closer to the ceiling than the floor of her support.”

“Given that Weiner’s support has been surprisingly strong, I don’t expect his numbers to fall much. That means that the first round of voting could result in a near tie between Quinn, Thompson and Weiner. In that scenario, Quinn could end up with the short end of the stick, and not in the runoff at all,” Enten concludes.

With last night’s poll showing Quinn’s drop in the polls is yet to be stopped, Enten’s bet and my assessment are vindicated, with the remaining weeks still to determine whether it is Weiner vs. Quinn, Thompson vs. Quinn or rather the shock of all times – Weiner vs. Thompson, in the runoff.

One Strike and You’re Out?

Monday, April 29th, 2013

The news over the last few weeks of the sockpuppet scandal of Rabbi Michael Broyde is disturbing, but not for the reasons you might imagine. On the face of it, this is the story of a Rabbi regarded as brilliant and erudite, both in Jewish and secular law, who destroyed his career by using an alias to engage in online Rabbinical conferences and discussions. Furthermore, his denial of the alias sealed his fate. He was forced to resign from the Beth Din of America, where he was one of its most prominent judges, and his name has become sullied.

I do not know Rabbi Broyde and cannot recall if we ever formally met. But I do know this. The growing American and Jewish culture of “one-strike-and-your-out” is tragic and disturbing.

Say a Rabbi like Broyde makes a terrible mistake. He assumes an invented identity on the internet and even uses it – so it is alleged – to promote his candidacy as potential Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. Does that mean he has nothing left to contribute? That because we discover he can be deceitful that it negates any good thing he may have done? Does he really now have nothing more to teach us? And should this be the end of an otherwise distinguished career?

Whatever happened to the idea of repentance, predicated as it is on the larger idea that a man is not merely the sum total of his most recent actions. That there is something that lies beneath his mistakes, a plane of innocence, into which he can tap in and resume his course on the path of righteousness.

By all accounts Broyde was a pathfinder in areas of Jewish law. By all means, let him be censured and punished for his error. Rabbis must act with ethical excellence. Let us also encourage him to go for counseling so that he can heal from his mistakes. But then let us allow him, should his repentance be complete, to resume his communal offerings and be restored to a position of significance.

New York is right now speculating whether Anthony Weiner will run for Mayor. His poll numbers are growing stronger. That gives me hope. He had a sex scandal where he tweeted pictures of his crotch to women who were strangers. He then denied it and was caught. He paid a huge price, losing his congressional seat and faced public disgrace. I personally have never cared much for Weiner or his politics. I am a Republican and he is a partisan Democrat. But enough is enough. Stop punishing the man. He has suffered enough. Allow him to contribute, now, to the public good and stop reminding him always of his failures. I do not wish to live in a world where a man is only remembered only for his mistakes and never for his virtue.

I am a Jew and as such I am part of a religion that has no perfect Jesus figures. In Judaism no woman is divine and no man is the son of God. In the Hebrew Bible everyone is flawed and everyone makes mistakes. Moses, the greatest prophet that ever lived, was so imperfect that God denied him entry into the Holy Land, the only personal wish the lawgiver ever had. Yet we Jews do not remember him for his errors, but for the glorious deliverance he gave our people from Egypt and for the even more glorious Ten Commandments.

Three years ago I traveled with a Christian evangelical organization to Zimbabwe to distribute food and medicine. In Harare I met three young doctors who were volunteering. They spoke of the difficulties of treating AIDs patients in one of the poorest, most oppressive societies on earth. “But what about medicines?,” I asked them. “Do you have any antiretrovirals?” “Oh,” they said, “those we have in abundance, teeming from the shelves, thanks to the Clinton Global Initiative.” And yet some want to remember the former President just for Monica Lewinsky.

I for one never focused my ire on President Clinton for his sex scandal and saw it more as a sad and private matter. I was much more interested in his failure to stop the Rwandan Genocide and I am pleased to see that he is attempting to repent of that monumental failure with his focus on saving as many African lives as possible.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/america-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/one-strike-and-youre-out/2013/04/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: