Obama and the Jews

First, Tony Orlando and Dawn, now: Obama and the Jews. Playing on Broadway, seemingly forever. This NY-9 race won't be the last time we visit this topic in the run-up to 2012.

I tend to think that the overwhelming majority of Jews who voted for Obama last time will vote for him this time. But Ben Smith posts the views of one Orthodox solon who differs:

All the distinguishing characteristics aside, the numbers in NY9 were so extraordinary that the lame "a majority of Jews will always vote for the Democrat" spin by Schumer and DWS is just beside the point. The point is that there suddenly is a significant (at least 10-15%, maybe more) swing in play in the overall Jewish population in Florida and elsewhere. The point is that they suddenly need to raise a ton more cash to fight in a whole bunch of new places And the point is that their leader's approach to the economy has left less cash available and fewer people willing to give it.

As far as what actually drove yesterday's numbers, Jews (Orthodox and otherwise) are as fed up by President Obama's handling of the economy as is every group in America. Layered on top for us is the one-two punch of his abysmal treatment of Israel and, in particular for the frum [more observant] community, the shock over New York's strident move to change the definition of marriage. All three contributed to an incredible upset for Obama and the Democrats, but it's clear that any two of them would have been enough.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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