Obama’s Novel Fundraising Scheme

By Jennifer Siegel

Published May 04, 2007, issue of May 04, 2007.

While the chattering class continues to ask about the extent of Senator Barack Obama’s support for Israel, two renowned Jewish writers are busy raising money for him.

Ayelet Waldman and her husband, Michael Chabon — whose latest novel, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” re-imagines Alaska as the homeland of the Jewish people — recently circulated an e-mail that announces their commitment to raising $25,000 for the Obama campaign and asks friends and acquaintances to get behind a presidency they say “would repair the incalculable damage the Bush cabal has done to our country and to our reputation in the world.”

“Have you ever voted for a candidate you really believed in?” the e-mail asks. “We haven’t. Don’t you want to? Once in your life? Can you even imagine the joy of being able to do that?”

Waldman, author of “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits” and “Daughter’s Keeper,” went to Harvard Law School with Obama. In an e-mail to the Forward, the author wrote that she fully trusts the Illinois lawmaker to get behind Israel.

“As a Jewish American, I trust him to value Israel, to have our interests at heart, and also not to be manipulated into adopting positions that are on their face supportive of Israel but in the long run devastating,” Waldman wrote. “No president in the history of the state of Israel has been as devastating for its ultimate prospects of survival as George W. Bush, that pigeon-hearted twit.”

And why Obama over Clinton and Edwards?

“Almost everyone we know (with a few exceptions) is supporting Barack,” Waldman wrote. “For the very reasons we say in our e-mails. I think John Edwards would be a fine president, but Barack would be better. I think Hillary is the object of far too much loathing to ever win the general election. Barack not only can win, but I trust him to govern.”



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