Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama Campaign Refuses to Debate Republican Jewish Coalition

Although Senator Barack Obama says that as President he would meet without preconditions with the leaders of Iran, apparently his campaign does not feel similarly about the Republican Jewish Coalition. As reported in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, the Obama campaign has decided that advisers and representatives of the Democratic nominee for president will no longer debate officials from the Republican Jewish Coalition. The Jewish Journal reports:
This prohibition led Wednesday to the canceling of a debate scheduled for Sunday at Valley Cities Jewish Community Center in Van Nuys organized by the Council of Israeli Community in Los Angeles. Larry Greenfield, California director of the RJC, said he still plans to show up. His counterpart, former Rep. Mel Levine, who is a Middle East adviser for Obama, will not participate in what would have been his fourth debate with Greenfield.
"Mere Rhetoric" contends that this incident is a replay of a tactic that the Obama campaign has pursued with Jewish public affairs organizations throughout the country.

Apparently, the Obama campaign, despite its lead in the polls, is concerned about its inability to maintain the usual Democratic Party advantage with Jewish voters, and somehow has determined that the appropriate tactical response is to avoid debates in front of Jewish audiences. The Jewish Journal article notes, "Only one Democratic presidential candidate since the 1920s has received less than 60 percent of the Jewish vote—President Carter in 1980—and polls from the American Jewish Committee and Gallup show Obama grasping for that minimum mark of support."

So much for bipartisan dialogue.


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