James Besser's blog

Biden Hits Bush Mideast Policy, Pokes AIPAC in the Eye

Thursday, September 4th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Since becoming the Democratic vice presidential nominee last month, political observers have been wondering whether Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) - known for his outspoken and unpredictable ways - would curb his tongue. After all, he’s no longer just a senior senator but the junior partner in the highly disciplined Barack Obama campaign organization. A Wednesday teleconference with Jewish reporters provided a partial answer. 

Shelley Berkley, Pro-Israel Hawk, On Obama’s Congressional Team

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Denver - As I reported this week, Jewish Democrats in the House and Senate are playing a key role in the Barack Obama campaign’s efforts to crank up the candidate’s Jewish numbers on November 4 and ease concerns about the nominee’s Mideast policies. And none could be as important as Rep. Shelley Berkley D-Nev.).

Joe Biden: Good for the (Democratic) Jews?

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington Will Sen. Joe Biden’s selection as Barack Obama’s running mate have much of an impact on the Jewish vote on November 4? Well, it depends on your perspective.

McCain Campaign Takes Up ZOA Refrain on Kurtzer

Thursday, August 21st, 2008 James Besser in Washington The John McCain campaign is starting to sound a lot like the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in its efforts to win over Jewish voters. This week the campaign reprised a favorite ZOA them when it went after former diplomat Dan Kurtzer,  a Barack Obama foreign policy adviser who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005.

Bad News for Jewish Dems: Carter Speaking At Convention

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The Barack Obama presidential campaign, still fighting hard to shore up the Jewish vote (this week Daniel Shapiro, an advisor to the campaign, signed on as official Jewish outreach coordinator) can’t be entirely thrilled with today’s announcement of additional speakers for next week’s convention. Buried in a long list of names was one certain to raise the hackles of many Jewish voters: former President Jimmy Carter.

New Orleans: “Jewish Pioneering Country”

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 James Besser in Washington New Orleans is being rebuilt - with some notable and controversial gaps - and the devastated city’s Jewish population is on the road to recovery, as well. On Friday one of that community’s leaders was in Washington, making the case that New Orleans Jews have come a long way - but still need outside help to finish the job.

J Street Poll: Jews Eager for Compromise but Wary on Jerusalem; Good but not Great News for Obama

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, showed overwhelming Jewish support for new peace moves in the region, but strong resistance to territorial compromise on Jerusalem.

Pelosi: Lieberman Could be Toast

Friday, August 15th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Sen. Joe Lieberman is riding high as a top surrogate for his pal John McCain, but he could face rough going in the Senate next year if the Democrats pick up as many seats on November 4 as most experts predict. This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued the strongest-yet warning to the former Democrat - not that Lieberman seems very interested in the opinions of his old colleagues.

Hikind, Huckabee Headed To The Holy Land

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 Adam Dickter, Assistant Managing Editor With speculation building about former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee running alongside John McCain, the former presidential contender is bound for Israel courtesy of Ateret Cohanim, a group that wants to increase Jewish presence in Jerusalem.

With Olmert Going: What Peace Process?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s one of the more puzzling headlines of the month, right off the AP ticker:  “US Trying to salvage Gains in Mideast Talks.” According to the story, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called top Israel and Palestinian negotiators to Washington this week to “preserve modest momentum” in the U.S.-backed effort to get a deal - any kind of deal, please - by the end of the year and the end of President George W. Bush’s term.
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