Did the president ‘shift the goal posts’ at debate, as expert suggests?
In an otherwise predictable foreign policy debate Monday night, in which GOP challenger Mitt Romney struck a more centrist tone and agreed with many of President Barack Obama’s positions, did the president actually tack to the right on Iran?
That was the view of Iran expert Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council and one of this country’s top Iran experts, who suggested that when the president stated that his goal is to “end Iran’s nuclear program” he “appeared to shift the goal post on Iran.”
Perhaps the clearest winner in Monday night’s presidential debate on foreign policy was Israel.
The tiny state was mentioned more than two dozen times, with both President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Gov. Romney going out of their way to declare their unwavering support for Jerusalem and their determination to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Emerging trend suggests younger Russians here more politically pliable than their parents.
Jewish Week Correspondent
As other Brighton Beach residents strolled past him, many with their children or grandchildren, Yakov Elperin stopped along the area’s boardwalk on a recent Sunday night to discuss how he, as a Russian-speaking Jew, felt about the presidential race.
Jewish voters know the scene well. Politicians show up at our synagogues, community events and Jewish homes for the aging—all talking up “Jewish values,” all trying to speak the language of the Jewish community.
Will the historic alliance, and the push for Israeli-Palestinian accord, become second-tier priorities?
James D. Besser
Special To The Jewish Week
Israel is — once again — a hot issue in presidential politics, at least in the narrow confines of the Jewish community, but U.S. policy in the region is unlikely to change dramatically no matter what the Nov. 6 outcome. And what changes do occur will be shaped by broader U.S. interests — foreign and domestic — and by an unprecedented environment of upheaval in the region, not by the pro-Israel rhetoric both parties now regard as politically mandatory on the campaign trail.
With the final two presidential debates coming up in the next two weeks, foreign policy will be a key issue in each, though polls show only about 5 percent of the electorate consider the issue a top priority. That’s a disturbing figure because while Americans are warranted in their deep concern about the economy, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the fate of the world may well rest on the mantle of the next American president.
Area Jewish college students not charged up about either candidate.
When Barack Obama defeated John McCain in 2008 to become the first African-American president in American history, he did so with a surge of college-age and 20-something voters animated by the Illinois senator’s mantra of hope and change.
Four years later, with the hope-and-change message battered by an anemic economy and hyper-partisanship in Congress, Eytan Kessler, a 21-year-old senior at Stony Brook University on Long Island, reflected some of the uncertainty gripping first-time voters this time around.
On the eve of the first of three presidential debates, “American Jews are likely to vote to re-elect President [Barack] Obama by a margin of better than two to one over Gov. Mitt Romney.” That’s the finding of an American Jewish Committee national survey, which like it or not should come as no surprise.
Jews in this country have been voting heavily Democrat for the last eight decades in presidential elections, reflecting their liberal views on a wide range of issues. Four years ago, Obama received about 78 percent of the Jewish vote.