Jewish Democrats Ready Push for Obama

Aim To Focus on Social Issues and Israel To Swing Tight Vote

Road to Charlotte: President Barack Obama campaigned in Ohio as Democrats gather to nominate him for reelection.
getty images
Road to Charlotte: President Barack Obama campaigned in Ohio as Democrats gather to nominate him for reelection.

By Nathan Guttman

Published September 04, 2012, issue of September 07, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

The real push will come right after the convention wraps up, when activists fan out to swing states with large Jewish populations. Simas offered a list of talking points which the campaign believes highlight Obama’s achievements in his first term: Healthcare reform, ending the war in Iraq and setting a timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan, education, fair pay for women, environment, clean energy, immigration, LGBT rights, women’s health and support for the middle class.

Obama’s record on Israel, according to Ira Forman, national Jewish outreach director for the Obama campaign, should be the first issue raised in conversation with Jewish swing voters. But after mentioning Obama’s support for Israel’s security, surrogates and activists were urged to move on to domestic issues, where Democrats feel they have the edge when it comes to priorities of Jewish voters.

Helping out with the effort to counter Republican attacks regarding Obama and Israel is a new and somewhat lengthy video which praises the president’s support for Israel.

Democrats are also aware of the fact that their convention comes at a time when tensions between Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu are reaching a new high, with both sides taking opposite views regarding a possible Israeli pre-emptive attack against Iran. Republican candidate Mitt Romney alluded to these differences in his acceptance speech in which he accused Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus” only to be met by an angry vice president Joe Biden who described Romney as wishing to take America to war.

Wasserman Schultz, speaking to Jewish activists at the convention, echoed Biden’s sentiments, saying that while all options for dealing with Iran are on the table, America is a “war-weary nation” and should refrain from “bellicose” remarks and from “chest beating.”

In an uncharacteristically passionate address to Jewish activists, Alan Solow, former chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations and a close friend of Obama, urged them to fight hard for every vote. He spoke out against what many Jews refer to the “kishkes factor,” the Yiddish term for gut feeling, that elusive sentiment that still makes some Jewish voters suspicious about Obama, the nation’s first black president.

“I really resent the kishkes question,” Solow said. “It reflects the kind of double standard our community should be ashamed of.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.