Spinmeisters, Start Your Engines

By Ami Eden

Published February 16, 2007, issue of February 16, 2007.

Most of the press corps keep tabs on Iowa and New Hampshire for signs that the presidential race is heating up. The Shmooze, on the other hand, keeps political time by monitoring the frequency, hypocrisy and overall shrillness of statements from the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Republican Jewish Coalition. And judging from this week’s round of e-mails, the 2008 campaign is in full gear.

This past Monday, the NJDC issued a statement blasting former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for announcing his candidacy at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. The Jewish Democrats compared Romney to Arizona Republican J.D. Hayworth, who drew criticism during his failed re-election campaign for praising Ford’s ideas on “Americanization,” despite the legendary automaker’s antisemitic relating to the issue. Never mind that Romney, the son of a former Michigan governor, was lauding Ford for his business acumen and entrepreneurship — not for his views on immigration. As the RJC noted, Jewish Democrats did not voice any objections when former President Bill Clinton invoked Ford in a 1999 speech hailing American ingenuity.

Of course, The Shmooze is not shedding any tears for Romney, given the cheap shot he leveled two weeks ago against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Romney released a statement attacking Clinton for proposing that America engage Iran in order to gain a better understanding of the Islamic Republic. The Republican hopeful unfairly painted the former first lady as a peacenik asking why the West can’t just get along with the mullahs in Tehran, when in fact her point was that the United States needed to better understand Iran in order to thwart its nuclear and regional ambitions.

As for the RJC, it really has no business throwing around accusations of hypocrisy until the organization either retracts its repeated attacks on Bill Clinton for failing to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or spanks George W. Bush for reneging on his unfulfilled promise to do so.

Just 11 months until the Iowa caucus!



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