With Israel not the wedge issue they anticipated, Jewish Republicans lick their wounds and brace themselves for Obama’s second term.
“You called me to be menachem avel [comforting a mourner]?”
Such was the way Jeff Wiesenfeld, a Republican insider, answered the phone on the day after the elections.
The percentage of the Jewish vote went 69-30 for President Barack Obama, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. That left almost a third of Jewish voters wrestling with postmortems and what-could-have-been’s.
Jewish Democrats seeking congressional seats fared better in Tuesday’s election than Jewish Republicans.
In New York’s 1st District in Suffolk County, incumbent Democrat Rep. Tim Bishop warded off a second challenge by Randy Altschuler, who would have been a second Jewish Republican in Congress. While their 2010 match was so close the results weren’t determined for weeks, Altschuler conceded just after midnight Wednesday, with the vote count at 52 percent to 48 percent, according to Newsday.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president during an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.
"He's the only one in the race who knows how to create jobs," said Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, who had been neutral in the contentious primary until now. "He is by far the right man for this historic election and the only one in the race who has put forward these kind of solutions and I believe he can beat Barack Obama."
Every time I ask GOP sources about up-and-coming Republicans who might be positioned to provide some communal companionship for the lonely Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va), now the only Jewish Republican in Congress, the first name I generally hear is Adam Hasner, the former state House Majority Leader.
Every U.S. administration since 1967 has opposed the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Israeli building in eastern Jerusalem, but a likely GOP presidential contender in 2012 this week sent another strong signal that could change if he gets into the White House.
For a while it looked like the Jewish Republican caucus in Congress would double in size - but after one of the year's closest House races was decided conclusively this week, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will still be its only member.
It took more than a month, but Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop was certified the winner Tuesday in the First Congressional District in Suffolk County’s East End, narrowly defeating Republican challenger Randy Altschuler.
Despite some high-profile losses, it's been a great night for the Republicans and a great one for Rep. Eric Cantor.
Cantor's easy reelection victory and the GOP conquest of the House – according to several network projections – mean he's now in line to become Majority Leader, second only to Rep. John Boehner, who is expected to easily win the Speakers position.