Remember all those stories about how Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) would be booted from the Democratic caucus once the party no longer needed him to hold on to their razor-thin majority in the Senate?
It’s looking less and less likely that’s going to happen, despite the fury of some Democrats and a major “Netroots” campaign to have the three-term senator ousted from his position as chair of the Homeland Security Committee.
Howard Dean is calling it quits as chair of the Democratic National Committee after an election that restored his party to the White House, increased its majorities in both Houses of Congress – and solidified a Jewish vote that analysts once believed was getting soft around the edges.
So what, exactly, does it mean that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the son of an Israeli who served in the Irgun, has been named White House chief of staff under President-elect Barack Obama?
It means a lot, in terms of White House management and policy; the hard-charging, experienced, hyper-aggressive Emanuel will undoubtedly keep the incoming administration organized, deal effectively with Congress and serve as an effective gatekeeper to a new president who will be besieged by those seeking influence and jobs.
The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported today that Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) could be a candidate for the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations, now that the current chair – Sen. Joe Biden – is headed to the Vice President’s mansion.
Over the weekend the blogosphere was filled with speculation about this question: would Sen. John McCain now be leading Sen Barack Obama if he had more actively raised the issue of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Democratic nominee’s former pastor?
Opinion is divided, with many analysts saying that the issue of the sinking economy would still trump all others, but one question has not been actively raised: what about the Jewish community?
Why have Sen. Barack Obama’s Jewish numbers surged, at least according to two polls released last week? The pollsters don’t answer that question in detail, but several likely explanations jump out from the numbers.
For months, Jewish Democrats have argued that Sen. Barack Obama’s relatively weak lead among Jewish voters – at least compared to other recent Democratic nominees – would evaporate as the election neared.
With less than two weeks left until November 4, there was evidence this week that they were right. Two polls released on Thursday showed the Illinois Democrat steadily winning over Jewish voters.
It was billed as a “tele-town hall with Jewish leaders nationwide,” but Sen. John McCain’s electronic meeting on Sunday sounded more like a staged campaign event than a give-and-take with community leaders.