Washington

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Friday, October 3rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington This week’s polls are showing Sen. Barack Obama opening up a significant lead over Sen. John McCain, but don’t start placing your bets on the November outcome.  A cascade of events and some unprecedented political factors make this the most volatile election year in recent history.

New Year’s Congressional Commotion

Monday, September 29th, 2008 James Besser in Washington With bank failures and a bearish stock market casting a dark shadow over the Capitol, Congress is scrambling to pass the record $700 billion financial bailout package this week. And that’s causing big problems for numerous Jewish lawmakers. Many Jewish House members - there are 30 of them - were watching the clock as today’s debate dragged on and their prospects for getting out of town in time for the beginning of Rosh Hashanah diminished with every tick.

AJC Poll: Economic Angst Sweeps Other Issues Off the Table

Monday, September 29th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The American Jewish Committee’s annual survey of Jewish Opinion is, as usual a rich mine of information about where the community’s head is at (check it out here). This week the Jewish Week will include a major story on some of its more intriguing - and potentially controversial - findings.

Push Poll or Issue Testing? Republican Jewish Coalition Poll Ignites Controversy

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Jewish political circles were buzzing at midweek over reports that John McCain supporters in Florida and elsewhere are using “push polling” to link  the Democratic nominees to the PLO and other anti-Israel forces.

Rabbis for Obama

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 James Besser in Washington With Election Day now looking perilously close, the Barack Obama presidential campaign is ramping up its Jewish outreach in critical states like Florida. And this week a group of rabbis - now approaching 400 - pitched in to make the Illinois senator’s case.

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.
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