Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

McCain Teleconference: Give and Take, or Staged Campaign Event?

Sunday, October 19th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It was billed as a “tele-town hall with Jewish leaders nationwide,” but Sen. John McCain’s electronic meeting on Sunday sounded more like a staged campaign event than a give-and-take with community leaders.

Jesse Speaks, The World Yawns

Friday, October 17th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The Rev. Jesse Jackson may have nothing to do with the Barack Obama presidential campaign, but that isn’t stopping the Republicans from using Jackson’s latest bizarre outburst to tar the Democratic presidential nominee.

The VP Debate: Change the Subject, Please

Friday, October 3rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington Jewish voters hoping to get a better idea how John McCain and Barack Obama might approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict got precious little in Thursday’s vice presidential candidate debate.

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.

Obama and the Rabbis

Friday, September 19th, 2008 Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seems to think that the road to keeping the Democrats’ big majority of Jewish votes in November may run through the bimah. First there was emergence of “Rabbis for Obama,” a groundbreaking group that has collected more than 400 signatures - mostly from the Reform and Conservative realms, as we reported last week, but with a smattering of Orthodox rabbis.

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.
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