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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama's 'non-existent Jewish problem' gets a little bigger

On Tuesday night, I wrote that the more that Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama insists that he doesn't have a 'Jewish problem' - and sends Newsweek and others out to prove it - the clearer it becomes that he actually does have a Jewish problem. There is now an even stronger indication of how serious Obama's 'Jewish problem' is.

The Hill reports that Republican Presidential candidate John McCain has been holding fund-raising events among the major financial supporters of Hillary Clinton, and that several of them have now switched their allegiance to McCain. One name mentioned specifically is Florida hotelier Stephen Muss, who owned the Foutainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach until 2005 (I spent many hours in the lobby of that hotel as a college student on intersession in the 1970's...). Muss seems like an influential gentleman. This is from a 2003 article about South Florida real estate developers:
Stephen Muss’s prolific real estate career began in 1946 when he joined his father to establish the Alexander Muss & Sons real estate development firm in New York. He and his family moved permanently to Miami Beach in 1968. He developed condominium projects in Key Biscayne, Miami, and Miami Beach, including five Seacoast Towers, The Towers of Key Biscayne, and The Towers of Quayside. In 1978 Muss acquired the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel.


Stephen Muss, meanwhile, has remained active as a philanthropist. In 1981 he endowed The Alexander Muss High School in Israel, named in memory of his father, to help support Jewish continuity through education. He now serves on the board of this institution. Steve Muss was the chairman of the Renaissance Committee for Temple Emanu-El and was extremely involved in restoring that Miami Beach landmark. He is now the president of the synagogue. His philanthropic interests also include the Jewish Federation of Miami, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the University of Miami.

Stephen Muss has also been active in shaping the policies of the local community. He has served on the Board of Miami’s Fine Arts Museum, on the Board of Governors of Haifa University, and as Chairman of both the Miami Beach Redevelopment Agency and the Dade County Sports Authority. He was very much involved in the expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center and the creation of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
According to The Hill, Muss is now backing John Sidney McCain for President.

Stephen Muss, the Florida developer, is the biggest Democratic donor and fundraiser to pledge his support for McCain and the Republican National Committee, said a GOP official. Muss has given tens of thousands of dollars to help Democratic candidates in recent years, including $80,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and CQ MoneyLine.

Muss did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Why is Muss supporting McCain? That comes back to Barack Hussein Obama's 'non-existent Jewish problem.'

“Many Jewish Democrats are sensing there is such an existential threat to Israel that you have to vote for an individual who strongly supports the U.S.-Israel relationship,” said Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), chairman of the GOP’s Jewish Victory Coalition.

Cantor said McCain held a fundraising breakfast with Republican and Democratic Jewish donors last week at the Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“The playing field is wide open for John McCain as far as attracting Jewish support,” he said.
And Muss may be the tip of the iceberg.

Brian Ballard, a prominent McCain fundraiser, said that several major Jewish Democratic donors have said they will join McCain’s camp.

“There are Bill Clinton folks who for the last three to six months we’ve been pushing to get involved,” said Ballard in an interview last week, referring to former President Bill Clinton. “In Florida there are a lot of people not happy with Obama’s stance with regards to Israel and regards to Cuba. We’re starting to see some significant people come over.

“Democrats who are traditional large Democratic givers are coming over to our side,” said Ballard.

Jewish support is especially important in Florida, a crucial swing state where Obama trails McCain in recent polls. Jewish voters make up about 5 percent of the electorate in that state. Florida’s Jewish community is also a lucrative source of political fundraising.

Jewish Democrats are concerned about Obama’s stance toward Israel, and many big donors from this group supported Clinton. McCain has moved aggressively in recent days to win their allegiance since Clinton dropped her White House bid.

“Her dropping out was huge in terms of potential for crossover voting and crossover support,” said Cantor.

Jewish Democrats are concerned about Obama for several reasons. While stumping in Iowa last year, Obama told Democratic activists, “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.”

Some Jewish voters interpreted the statement as a sign that Obama would be overly sympathetic to the Palestinian side in future peace negotiations with Israel. And some are concerned about a senior Obama adviser’s comments regarding the influence of American Jews on foreign policy. Merrill “Tony” McPeak, the former Air Force chief of staff, told the Portland Oregonian newspaper in 2003 that the political influence of the Jewish community had hampered efforts to negotiate peace in the Middle East.

Obama has also caused some alarm among Jewish Democrats by pledging to negotiate with leaders of nations that have taken hostile stances against Israel, such as Syria and Iran.
But McPeak is only one of many. There's Brzezinski and Power and Malley and....

While Obama continues to be the leading fundraiser (he may raise $100 million in June alone), the key here is not how much is being given but who is doing the giving. Democratic candidates usually count on overwhelming Jewish support as a given. Obama cannot count on it.

For Obama, the 'Jewish problem' is becoming the unmentioned elephant in the living room of his campaign. And Robert Wexler - the Florida Democratic congressman who is Obama's house Jew - has considerably less national name recognition than Joe Lieberman. I wonder how many Democratic 'activists' now regret their shabby treatment of Lieberman when he stood for re-election two years ago.

By the way, this might be a good opportunity to mention that Americans in Israel currently represent 23% of the completed voter registrations for Americans abroad, trailing only the United Kingdom (35%) and Canada (25%). And since the law says that you vote in the last state in which you resided in the US, there are large numbers of us in New York, California and New Jersey, and, although not mentioned in the article, probably Florida and Illinois. More problems for Obama on the horizon?


At 9:39 AM, Blogger Gary Rosen said...

I just saw a news report on TV that Jew-baiter Tony McPeak was being considered for VP by Obama. Dare we dream the impossible dream - a Republican winning a majority of the Jewish vote?

You know what, though? Even if Obama had no falloff in the Jewish vote, we will get blamed if he loses, just like Carter blames the Jews for losing in 1980 even though the stereotypical "Reagan Democrat" was a blue-collar Catholic. Fine with me - I want these motherfuckers out in the open.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

Obama is a closet anti-Semite. His church was radically anti-Semitic, his wife is radically anti-Semitic and he will say anything to every group to get elected.

It is good to see that the Democrat Jews of the US finally starting to come around.

Now he's got his shill voice, Roland Martin proposing to change the voting from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Whenever Martin says something, Obama comes out with it a few days later. A way to keep the Jewish community from voting.


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