DNC Dispatch: “Sometimes You Just Have to Take One for the Team.”

by Amy E. Schwartz It had been, she said, “a difficult week.” It sure had. But when Florida representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz walked into the reception thrown by the National Jewish Democratic Council late Thursday, she was among friends. She was hugged, praised, hugged again. A dozen people asked if she was all right. She kept saying yes, although, at the start of this “difficult week,” a scandal of leaked emails had forced her resignation as Democratic party chair just days before she was to gavel in the convention she had been instrumental in organizing. NJDC Chair Greg Rosenbaum called Schultz to the podium and praised her fundraising prowess, her success in organizing the massive convention, her uncanny efficiency: “I always ask her if she is the real Debbie Wasserman Schultz, because there must be at least...

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Jewish Politicians Rip into RJC

Watch Joe Biden deliver last night's opening speech at the National Jewish Democratic Council's Washington Conference. Jewish politicians known for their support of Israel lashed out against the Republican Jewish Committee this morning, accusing it of dividing America’s Jewish community for the sake of politics. During a panel discussion titled “Israel: Bipartisan Consensus or Partisan Wedge Issue” at a conference hosted by the National Jewish Democratic Council in Washington DC, House Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), and former Representative Mel Levine (D-CA) criticized the RJC’s anti-Obama campaign as “BS,” emphasizing that historically Democrats have been the most staunchly and consistently pro-Israel party. “You cannot denigrate and destroy our community in the interest of getting someone elected and that’s exactly what they are doing,” said Berkley, who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from...

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jewish/black relations

More on Jews + Blacks

NJDC's blog alerted us to a recent Daily Show video that you can see here. It's about Jewish/Black relations, only from the distinctively funny and revealing angle that Jon Stewart and co. have made so effective. This is becoming a hot topic in election news. Just last week we posted on the relationship between blacks and Jews and how that relationship could impact the election, if at all. We concluded: Some Jews, like some white (and other) people in this country as a whole, won’t vote for Senator Obama in part or in whole because he is black. An estimate of that number is very difficult to gauge since people habitually lie when it comes to talking about their racial attitudes. Whether there will be enough Jewish Democrat voters who stay home on Election Day and/or vote...

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Chuck Hagel

The Barack Obama Chuck Hagel Controversy

More controversy regarding Barack Obama and his policies on Jewish-related issues has bubbled up and, perhaps, simmered down in the past few days. According to the JTA, the Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement yesterday (which has since been removed from their website) condemning what they saw as Sen. Chuck Hagel's accompanying Obama on his upcoming trip to the Middle East. The RJC demanded Obama drop Hagel from the trip. Hagel is a controversial figure in the Jewish community for a number of reasons. Mostly, though, he is seen as less than totally supportive of Israel. Last year, the National Democratic Jewish Council created a list of some of his most unpopular actions regarding the Middle East; in January of this year, Haaretz saw Mayor Michael Bloomberg's associations with Hagel as a detriment to his potential...

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President Obama

President Obama and His Inner Circle

Yesterday's Washington Post featured a front-page article on President Obama and his inner circle of advisors and friends. Although the article focused on the Chicago-based commonality in Obama's circles, we couldn't help but notice another fascinating attribute they all had in common: The innermost circle that the Post assembled (which can easily be viewed in the accompanying graphic) is comprised of seven people, all of whom are minorities. Four of the seven—John W. Rogers Jr., Valerie B. Jarrett, Eric Whitaker and Martin Nesbitt—are African American. The other three—David Axelrod, James Crown and Penny S. Pritzker—are Jewish. Axelrod, Obama's senior political strategist, is a former writer for the Chicago Tribune and political consultant. He is in large part responsible for the hope rhetoric and focus on an outsider image that has driven Obama's success thus far. Crown and national...

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