Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Edwards, Jews, and Iran

According to various Jewish publications, John Edwards, like other presidential hopefuls wants to appeal to as many demographic groups as possible. So, of course, he has to pander to the Jews. We may be small in number but I hear we control all of the wealth in the world (although I'm still waiting for my #%!*#*! share). From an article in The Jewish Week,
Edwards, with his Herzliya speech this week and a trip to Israel last year, may be making the most aggressive pitch to pro-Israel voters in the early campaign. He also brings to the mix a strong fundraising base, with an emphasis on trial lawyers—a group that includes many Jews.
A recent article in the New Jersey Jewish Standard reported on the current panderthon - I mean - attempts to reach out to the Jewish community, and had this to say about Edwards,
The appearance by the former Democratic senator from North Carolina at last year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy forum was the first substantial sign that he was considering another run for the White House after he failed in his 2004 bid to win the Democratic primary and then the vice presidency.

The millionaire trial lawyer had focused almost exclusively on his "two Americas" theme in combating poverty and advocating for universal health care in his primaries campaign, and Republicans cast him as a lightweight on foreign policy.

He drew loud applause when he endorsed AIPAC’s trademark issue: isolating Iran as long as it resists nuclear transparence.

"For years I have argued that the United States has not been doing enough to deal with the growing threat in Iran," he said. "While we’ve talked about the dangers of nuclear terrorism, we’ve largely stood on the sidelines as the problems got worse. I believe that for far too long, we’ve abdicated our responsibility to deal with the Iranian threat to the Europeans."

Such talk has helped draw major Jewish donors to Edwards’ campaign. He raised eyebrows late last year, however, when he named as his campaign director David Bonior, a former Michigan congressman noted for his tough criticism of Israel.

Bonior and Edwards reached out to top pro-Israel figures and assured them that Bonior’s role would not extend to foreign policy.
Edwards must have, at some point, forgotten about the Jewish vote. From a link at Little Green Footballs, there was this gem from Edwards, quoted at National Review Online which also has link to the full article,
The aggressively photogenic John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes last week until, during question time, he invoked the "I" word — Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. As a chill descended on the gathering, the Edwards event was brought to a polite close.
It seems to me that Mr. Edwards inadvertently spoke his mind. Will this hurt his prospects among Jewish voters? I think in the primaries it might and for fundraising, it might. But as we've seen before, for too many Jews, it is more important to parade their liberal values than to work for their own survival. If Edwards were to be the Democratic candidate, I know a lot of Jews who would go through intense mental gymnastics in order to prove that Edwards is more pro-Israel than whoever ends up as the Republican candidate . . . just as Edwards is sure to do in the next day or so.

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At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It means that Jews, who provide the bulk of the campaign funds will not give him any.

In other words, he is done.

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Harry said...

Unless they force themselves to believe that he misspoke. The true believers will accept his weaselly explanations.


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