CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Published December 12, 2003, issue of December 12, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Junk Food Joe: Before the news of Al Gore’s endorsement roiled the field, Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman was pushing his pro-family sally against junk food and those who would sell it to American children.

“Parents today are being forced to contend with a new threat: big food companies targeting junk food at children,” Lieberman said last week, pushing the newest plank of what he calls his “Valuing Families Agenda,” which includes initiatives on paid family leave and children’s health care. “And that’s literally feeding an epidemic of obesity that our top public health experts contend is the biggest health threat out there today. It’s time to stand up to the companies that hype food to children and to stand up for an important principle — informed choices by people who can make informed decisions.”

Speaking at a New Hampshire learning center last Thursday, Lieberman found his anti-junk food gambit a hard sell, however.

“Who here likes doughnuts?” he asked the assembled children, who “responded with a rousing cheer,” according to the Manchester Union Leader. “Well, I have a confession to make,” Lieberman continued. “I like them too. But it’s important not to eat too many of them.”

One Republican, speaking on condition of anonymity, questioned the timing of Lieberman’s anti-doughnut initiative on religious grounds.

“It is kind of funny that Senator Lieberman is coming out against jelly doughnuts — sufganiyot — two weeks before Chanukah,” the Republican said. “I hope latkes aren’t next. All the songs may have to be changed — or at least regulated by the FDA.”

* * *

Sad About Simon: The death this week of former Illinois senator Paul Simon was mourned by the Jewish community in his home state and around the country. The crusading good-government Democrat, who once ran for president and was known for his honesty, loyalty and bow tie, gained many friends among Jews for his strong pro-Israel stances.

“His defeat of Chuck Percy when Percy was chairman of Senate Foreign Relations was absolutely enormous — the political coming of age in the pro-Israel community,” remembered Democratic strategist Steve Rabinowitz, who worked for Simon during his 1988 re-election campaign.

As recounted in a 1993 article in the magazine Illinois Issues, Simon earned the support of his state’s Jewish voters with opposition to school prayer, which Percy did not oppose. Percy also had described Jews as “an intelligent people, but an emotional people.” Before a debate with Percy at a Jewish venue, the Simon campaign distributed a thousand buttons that read, “I’m an intelligent and emotional Jew for Simon.”

Among the Jewish communal groups that mourned Simon was the Jewish National Fund, which noted that “Simon was an avid supporter of Israel and Jewish National Fund’s work on water reclamation and recycling. “

“We are saddened to have lost a man of vision, a man who understood that water was not only the essence of life, but also a formula for peace,” said the JNF’s president, Ronald Lauder.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • 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.