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  • The Most Important Jews in Politics of 5768-69: Fifth Night – David Axelrod

    David Axelrod

    Several times during cable news's reporting of the 2008 election I asked myself, "why is CNN interviewing that sleepy labor union representative about Obama's campaign strategy?"

    But that question only belied my own ignorance. For that vaguely unkempt mustached gentleman was no disgruntled shop teacher, but Barack Obama's brilliant campaign strategist, David Axelrod.

    Axelrod is credited with engineering Obama's unprecedented Presidential victory, and by all accounts, his efforts represent the most successful Jewish direction of a Black since Steven Spielberg led Oprah Winfrey to an Oscar nomination in The Color Purple.

    Go back to the fourth night.

    Tags: David Axelrod, Hanukkah, Jewish
  • The Most Important Jews in Politics of 5768-69: Fourth Night – Lynn Forester de Rothschild

    Lynn Forester de Rothschild

    Wealthy Clinton fundraiser Lynn Forester de Rothschild –- or Doll Face as I used to call her when we partied in the Hamptons back in the 90's — came to embody the Obama-hating Clinton supporter who just couldn't toe the party line after their gal was defeated.

    After raising oodles of cash for Hillary in 2008, Rothschild threw her support behind McCain rather than back Obama. The ramifications were great –- although Barack Obama still won the election handily, he received one fewer popular vote than he would have had Rothschild voted for him.

    Go back to the third night.

    Tags: Hanukkah, Jewish, Lynn Forester de Rothschild
  • The Most Important Jews in Politics of 5768-69: Third Night – Al Franken (or Maybe Norm Coleman (or Maybe Al Franken))

    The Next Senator Elected from Minnesota

    When I think of Jew-friendly places in America my thoughts turn to New York, L.A., and Miami Beach, but, perhaps, I should add Minnesota to that list. I mean, aside from being the birth place of one Robert Zimmerman (non-Jew name Bob Dylan), the State was also represented by the late Senator Paul Wellstone. And what's more, no matter what happens in 2008's bitterly contested Senatorial election, Minnesota will be getting another Jew in office. That's right, both Norm Coleman and Al Franken are Jewish.

    No, really. Despite signs to the contrary, Norm Coleman is Jewish. And those reports about the Coleman family menorah featuring 8 maids-a-milking are probably apocryphal. Still, it can't be denied that Norm has hid his Judaism well through arch conservatism and a steadfast refusal to be even remotely funny. But don't underestimate how badly Franken wants this. While he may not be able to conceal his Hebraic status as successfully, Franken has been going toe to toe with Coleman by seemingly refusing to be funny for several years now.

    Go back to the second night.

    Tags: Al Franken, Hanukkah, Jewish, Minnesota, Norm Coleman, Senate
  • Caption Challenge: George Bush Celebrates Hannukah

    Look out, President Bush! The specter of Judaism is right behind you!

    Leave your captions in the comments section of this post.

    Tags: Caption Challenge, George W. Bush, Hanukkah
  • The Most Important Jews in Politics of 5768-69: Second Night – Eliot Spitzer

    Eliot Spitzer

    2008 was a hard year for Jewish surnames containing "Spitz." Of course, the big story was that Michael Phelps shattered Jewish Olympian Marc Spitz's seemingly unbreakable record of eight gold medals.

    To a lesser extent, however, there was also some slight reporting on New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer's wildly inappropriate prostitute sex scandal. The scandal revealed that Spitzer enjoyed exposing more than Wall Street corruption, but also raised many questions in the Jewish community such as "Is he Jewish? Really? Are you sure? Damn."

    Spitzer left office in disgrace after a press conference that was as strained and painful as some of the "dangerous" sexual practices he is alleged to have engaged in.

    Still, his downfall struck another positive note for Black/Jew relations in 2008. After the scandal, Lt. Governor David Patterson assumed Spitzer's office, making Patterson New York's first Black Governor and the African American that has benefited most from prostitution since Snoop Dogg.

    Go to the third night.
    Go back to the first night.

    Tags: Eliot Spitzer, Hanukkah, Jewish