Despite Ryan's Heritage, Ireland Sticks With Obama

'Honorary Irishman' Popular in Land of GOP Veep's Ancestors

By Reuters

Published October 16, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

Asked why Ryan appeared to have soft-pedalled his Irish heritage, Mike Steel, a Romney campaign official said in an email to Reuters: “He did address his family’s Irish immigrant roots at a rally in his hometown of Janesville, WI. He told a joke about his ancestors arriving in Janesville and saying “It looks just like Ireland … and then the winter came.”

FADING KINGMAKERS

While visiting an ancestral home in Ireland remains a rite of passage for U.S. presidents, with the last five claiming ties there, the power of the Irish vote has faded since it helped lift John F. Kennedy to the presidency in 1960.

Kennedy’s victory set up a triumphant homecoming three years later to a town 20 miles (32 km) from Graiguenamanagh.

The focus for U.S. political strategists nowadays has shifted to the wider Catholic community, which votes more as a block than the traditionally Democratic Irish, whose priorities have diverged as they integrated into American society.

But pockets of Irish Americans in the key swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania could still play an important role.

“The Irish Catholic vote went for (Democrat) Bill Clinton. It went narrowly for (Republican John) McCain over Obama. I’d say on this occasion it will be 50-50,” said Niall O’Dowd, publisher of the U.S. newspaper The Irish Voice.

“It’s a vote that tends to be a bellwether vote. If it swung decisively behind Obama, it would certainly mean that he would win the election,” O’Dowd said.

Romney’s choice of Ryan, just like Obama’s choice of Biden, was clearly influenced by targeting white Catholics, he said.


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 does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • 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.