Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clinton, Obama, Jesse Jackson and the Jewish vote in Florida

There's a reason why Ted Kennedy got angry about Clinton's brandishing of a Jesse Jackson comparison to Obama: it was an attempt to tarnish Obama in the Jewish community. That may sound harsh but all last week, former Clinton adviser and somewhat psycho anti-Hillary pit bull Dick Morris was praising Clinton's genius in his use of the Jackson thing and that by paining Obama black in SC, the Clintons was guaranteeing victory everywhere else on Super Tuesday. The Clintons were doing this for "fun." (Hillary's description of negative campaigning). There is a dark side to the Jesse Jackson analogy and that was the extent to which Jesse Jackson became anathema to the Jewish community because of perceived anti-Semitism, aggravated by his infamous description of New York as "Hymie Town."

Would you really doubt that B. Clinton, the great triangulator, was unaware of this. And, by the way, do you doubt that Teddy Kennedy, whose been around for a few years in politics, isn’t aware of the unfortunate connotation attached to Jackson's name by some older Jews - particularly I can assume - the ones retired in Florida by the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions.

Having spent the last 38 years of life in the Bronx and seeing the "Scoop" Jackson" 1976 Democratic primary vote in Coop City, I can assure that the Jesse Jackson as enemy mentality was prevalent at the time. Coop City is largely Black and Latino now. The Jews who lived there have either died or moved – to Florida.

Given the enormous micro-polling that goes on in the Clinton campaign orchestrated by Mark Penn, I'll betcha a poll of Florida Democrats revealed (would have revealed) that among the Jewish emigres, Jesse Jackson had strong negatives. Ergo, link Obama to Jackson repeatedly and often. If you have ever taken, or answered a poll, you know how its done. A list of names is read and for each name you are asked: “If XX is endorsed by YY, would it make you more or less likely to vote for him?” Or simply: “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of YY.” In this case “YY” would be Jesse Jackson.

I had a dental appointment this morning. My Dentist is second or third generation Jewish and market-tested this theory on him and he agreed immediately that by linking Obama to Jackson, Clinton was playing to the Jewish vote, including his.

The fact that Bill Clinton and Hillary can express amazement that anyone could believe that it was deliberate ploy is testament to their acting ability and their low estimation of the intelligence of the American voters. They should win an Oscar, not the Presidency. I only hope that Jewish voters don't fall for it.

Of course, Obama has another Jewish issue going for him: The more he talks about his mother and father and his love and respect for them and his roots, although different from typical Jewish roots, he plays to the strong sense of family that underlies Jewish culture. That’s targeting with a heart. "He's such a nice boy."

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