James Besser's blog

Obama/Bloomberg 08?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 Adam Dickter Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s spirited defense of Barack Obama before a Jewish organization in Florida this week leads to the obvious questions about whether he’s positioning for a veep nomination, trying to stay politically relevant, simply speaking his conscience, or some combination of the above.

ADL and Hagee Make Nice. But Will That End the Controversy?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 James Besser in Washington So will the exchange of make-nice letters between ADL chief Abe Foxman and Pastor John Hagee tamp down the controversy swirling around the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) leader once an for all?

The Next Senator from Minnesota: A New York Jew, For Sure

Sunday, June 8th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’s official: Minnesota’s Senate contest in November will feature two Jews, and that’s no joke even though the Democratic challenger is a former Saturday Night Live humorist. On Saturday comedian Al Franken won the right to challenge Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican who is seeking a second term.

McCain and Obama Speeches at AIPAC

Thursday, June 5th, 2008 James Besser in Washington You’ve read about them, now watch them for yourselves. Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, who have secured the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations, are staking out positions that will give Jewish voters a distinct choice on foreign policy questions. Those differences were explicitly laid out in their speeches to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference this week. Here are video clips of their speeches.

AIPAC By the Numbers

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’ gaudy, it’s over the top, some say it’s tasteless, but it sure as heck is effective. AIPAC’s legendary “roll call,” a decades-old tradition at the annual policy conference banquet, is a graphic indication of the group’s continuing Capitol Hill clout. You can bet politicians in both parties, at every level of the political game, hear the message loud and clear.

Talk at AIPAC: What Will Hillary Do?

Monday, June 2nd, 2008 James Besser in Washington Every year there’s a predominant buzz at the AIPAC policy conference. Last year it was the controversy over the dramatic appearance of Christians United for Israel president John Hagee; in 2005 and 2006 much of the talk in the hallways was about the federal investigation into two former AIPAC staffers.

Obama at AIPAC: Mission Accomplished?

Monday, June 2nd, 2008 James Besser in Washington Several Barack Obama supporters said earlier in the week that today’s speech at AIPAC would be the critical moment in his effort to keep Jewish voters on the Democratic reservation in November. They must be kvelling now that the speech is over. A pro-Israel group whose leaders feared a less-than-friendly reception gave Obama one of the most enthusiastic receptions of the three-day conference.

McCain Slams Obama in AIPAC Speech

Sunday, June 1st, 2008 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) signaled an aggressive effort to win the pro-Israel vote in November with a stingingly partisan speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference on Monday. Breaking with a tradition generally observed by AIPAC keynoters, McCain attacked Sen. Barack Obama by name for his positions on Iran and the Iraq war. McCain warmed up a friendly crowd by indirectly criticizing Obama’s offer to meet with Iranian leaders.
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