Reading the midterm tea leaves, from the GA in New Orleans to Washington.
James D. Besser
President Barack Obama’s mounting political woes after last week’s “shellacking” in midterm congressional elections may indirectly lead to greater U.S. flexibility on the issue of Israeli military action to stop its nuclear program.
Some analysts say an administration committed to stopping Iran from going nuclear — but whose options may be even more limited after a big Republican victory based heavily on voters’ economic anxieties — may choose to let Israel take care of the problem.
With more than 60 House seats and 650 state legislature seats changing hands and decades-long office holders of all political stripes losing their jobs, we’re still coming to grips with what happened in last week’s congressional midterm elections, let alone what it means for the future.
The tectonic plates of power underneath the nation’s capital are radically shifting in the wake of the 2010 midterm elections. Everyone in Washington — from the White House to industry associations to public interest groups and more — is still assessing the fate of the issues they care about in light of the new lay of the land, and the Jewish community is no exception. The good news is, for many of the issues that we care about, the shift from one-party rule to divided government offers opportunities, albeit with challenges, too.
The close congressional race on the East End of Long Island, which incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop appeared likely to win, is now up in the air after the Suffolk County Board of Elections found it had misreported the unofficial results by nearly 4,000 votes.
Republican challenger Randy Altschuler, who if he wins would become the second Jewish Republican in the House, is now reported to be in the lead by 383 votes. Bishop had initially been reported to be ahead by 3,461 votes.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A historic Republican sweep of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday has propelled Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the minority whip, to the verge of becoming the highest-ranking Jew in U.S. political history.
"We are excited for Eric Cantor to become the next House Majority leader," said Matt Brooks, director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. "The highest ranking Jew to ever serve in the House!"
Since last week's story on the issue I've had a lot more conversations about the impact of tomorrow's election and likely GOP gains on the Obama administration's Middle East agenda. But talk doesn't necessarily lead to illumination.
Jewish hawks and doves are pretty much divided in parallel ways.
Recent polls have shown a higher-than-usual interest in this midterm election, with large early-voting turnouts and strong opinions among likely voters about issues like the economy, health care, and Israel. There is a deep sense that this election matters.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A Republican Congress would seek to remove funding for Israel from the foreign operations budget, a GOP leader said.
U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican whip and the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, told JTA that a GOP-led House would seek to defund nations that do not share U.S. interests, even if it meant rejecting the president's foreign operations budget.
Cantor, of Virginia, said he wants to protect funding for Israel should that situation arise.
Think Washington is gridlocked today? Wait until January, when the new Congress takes over.
Bitterly polarized politics and an environment in which compromise is a four letter word promise even more paralysis when the next Congress convenes and President Obama starts the second half of his term with even more Capitol Hill tsuris.
New AJC poll says it's the economy, not Israel, driving down Democratic numbers.
James D. Besser
President Barack Obama's approval rating among Jewish voters has fallen six points in just seven months, and a surprisingly strong 33 percent of those surveyed say the nation would be better off with a Republican-led Congress, according to a just-released poll of Jewish voters by the American Jewish Committee.
That suggests one of the strongest pillars of the Democratic base is weakening just weeks before critical congressional midterm elections that are expected to result in strong GOP gains.