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Obama’s Cairo Speech: Speculation Mounting

Sunday, May 31st, 2009 The political insider is back from vacation, but even the shores of Tuscany weren’t far enough away to block out a faint buzz about President Barack Obama’s upcoming speech to the Muslim world, scheduled for next Thursday in Cairo.

UPDATED: Anthony Weiner’s Options

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 Surprising few, Rep. Anthony Weiner today ended speculation that he may enter the New York mayoral race, declaring in a New York Times Op-Ed that he is focused on making a difference in Washington, while likening a campaign against billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to facing off a football team of 110 players with only ten teammates at his side.

Pride of PLACE

05/20/2009
Staff Writer

In San Francisco, the Castro district teems with gay life — there are drag shows, gay-run boutiques and the signature of the gay rights movements — the rainbow flag — seems to be everywhere.

Etai Pinkas

Israel Policy Forum Welcomes Netanyahu — By Supporting Obama

Friday, May 15th, 2009 Take a look at today’s Israel Policy Forum (IPF) ad in the New York Times if you want to see how some Jewish pro-peace process groups are adopting a bolder strategy. Do you see Benjamin Netanyahu’s name anywhere in the ad?  I didn’t think so. It’s traditional for Jewish groups to welcome prime ministers with friendly ads even if they couple that with some pokes at Israeli policy.

DC Vouchers: Obama straddles, Jewish groups not thrilled

Monday, May 11th, 2009 If you thought the issue of school vouchers for parents whose kids attend private and parochial schools would fade away now that the Democrats control both the White House and Congress, guess again. Last week President Obama announced a proposal that would allow a controversial Washington, DC voucher program that has divided Jewish groups to keep its funding for now but not provide money for new students.

Obama, the Orthodox Union and the National Day of Prayer

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 President Obama is getting pounded by the religious right for not holding a “National Day of Prayer” event at the White House tomorrow, but he is getting support from a key Orthodox group. In his Institute for Public Affairs Blog, OU public policy director Nathan Diament reviews the history of the event, which began in 1952 and which “has been marked in various ways by all presidents since then.” Diament goes on to say this:

Notes from the AIPAC Policy Conference

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 Is the legendary AIPAC “roll call” getting old? In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the story: at every year’s policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,  leaders of the group read out the names of all the congressional, administration and diplomatic officials attending.  Reporters keep count, hometown delegations cheer for their representatives and the message has the subtlety of a good sock in the jaw: this is a lobby with real clout.

Big surprise: Jewish Ds and Rs disagree on Obama “100 days”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 Here’s a stunner: Jewish Democrats think President Barack Obama has done a great job during his first 100 days in office and Jewish Republicans disagree. Some Jews on the left say the new administration has become too centrist for their liking, but centrist Jewish groups that focus heavily on domestic matters couldn’t be happier.

Jewish Democrats, Republicans spin Specter switch

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 Twenty four hours after Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection from the Republicans to the Democrats, you can see the spin machines on both sides of the aisle grinding out what they hope will become the central narratives of this political game changer.  Yesterday the leading Jewish Democrats and Republicans offered the Jewish Week what  turned out to be perfect distillations of their respective parties’ Specter spins.

Update: Sabato on Obama’s Jewish vote

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 A recent Political Insider item on University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato’s new book, “The Year of Obama: How Barack Obama Won the White House,” produced a flurry of email. Why, readers asked, does Sabato put the Jewish vote for Obama at 83 percent while earlier newspaper accounts had it at 78 percent?
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