It was a rocky night for Donald Trump at the third and final presidential debate. According to neoconservative John Podhoretz, it went so bad that even Trump seemed to realize he would never make it to the White House.
As the event neared its close, the Republican nominee sarcastically wished Clinton “lotsa luck” in dealing with the conflict in Syria and its foreign policy ramifications. Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary Magazine, thought that was a telling aside. “What will she need luck for if she’s not going to be president?” he asked in a Thursday New York Post column. “Consciously or not, the guy ceded the race. Live. On television.”
Trump’s admission confirmed what we already knew, wrote Podhoretz. The race is over, whether the Republican nominee concedes on election night or not (now an open question with Trump’s chattering about a “rigged” contest).
Hillary Clinton he continued, “can basically take the next three weeks off. But why would she? She can just spend the time taking the most luxurious pre-victory lap in American history.”
Podhoretz’s doom and gloom is typical for his crowd of #NeverTrump Jewish neoconservatives, who question the Republican nominee’s fitness to hold office and recoil at his opposition to free trade and embrace of dictators. Also included in that group are Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, foreign policy expert Robert Kagan, and writer Max Boot.
But not all Jewish neocons agree with him — and one of the dissenters is his own father, Norman Podhoretz, himself a founder of the neoconservative movement.
In a summer interview with the Times of Israel, Norman Podhoretz called himself “anti-anti-Trump.” “I have no great admiration for him, to put it mildly. (But) I think she’s worse. Between the two, he’s the lesser evil,” he said, citing his fears about Clinton’s attitudes toward Israel.
But that’s a moot point as of today, John Podhoretz ventured in his New York Post column.
“Trump just told us he knows she has more people voting in her favor and he has more people voting against him,” he said, referring to Trump’s “luck” remark. “He just told Hillary to measure the drapes.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.