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Political tidbits: Obama campaign won’t debate RJC, low turnout for the Schlep

  • The Obama campaign has decided its representatives won’t debate Republican Jewish Coalition officials, because they’re tired of the RJC’s negative ads, according to the L.A. Jewish Journal.
  • CNN has the story of a “great schlepper” who ended up not only convincing his South Florida grandparents to support Barack Obama, but also spoke to more than 100 of their neighbors.
  • Meanwhile, the London Daily Telegraph says only 200 people actually schelpped, and many found their grandparents were already supporting Obama.
  • And some of Obama’s senior staffers are schlepping to Florida for the next few weeks – a signal the campaign thinks it can win the state, according to a Miami television station.
  • The Jerusalem Post reports that Jesse Jackson says his comments on “Zionists” controlling American foreign policy were distorted – and that the Obama campaign has distanced itself from those remarks.
  • Jewish historian Jonathan Sarna talks about the election and the Jewish vote with JUF News.
  • The L.A. Jewish Journal interviews Obama’s California strategist, Mitchell Schwartz.
  • The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg blogs that the angry crowds at McCain-Palin rallies remind him of those demonstrating against Yitzhak Rabin in the months before he was assassinated.
  • Michael Oren, in Forbes, said it was “astonishing” to discover that the presidential candidates “differ significantly on virtually every issue” related to Israel, except for their “common commitment to Israel and the search for peace.”
  • Newsweek’s Howard Fineman has decided the many polls of Jewish voters are wrong. How? He surveyed his high-school friends from Pittsburgh, gets a 9-1 margin for Obama and declares that non-Orthodox Jews are going to vote in much bigger numbers for the Democrat than everyone thinks.
  • Campaigning for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton tells a Philadelphia JCC crowd that the economic crisis is heartbreaking, reports the AP.
  • Bloomberg on the campaigns seeking American voters in Israel.
  • Max Blumenthal and David Niewert at Salon claim Sarah Palin has ties to some radical right-wingers.
  • M.J. Rosenberg wonders what Sarah Palin meant when she campaigned to be “Wasilla’s first Christian mayor” – since the incumbent was a Lutheran but his last name was Stein.
  • Charley Levine, in the Jerusalem Post, would like to see a McCain-Biden ticket.
  • Campaiging for John McCain, Joe Lieberman tells Ohio voters that he might even vote for Obama one day – but not this year, according to the AP. And he tells the Forward that he’s “at peace” with his decision to become an independent and back the GOP presidential candidate.
  • More on the battle for Florida Jewish voters, from the Chicago Tribune.
  • Ben Shapiro, on Townhall.com, challenges Alan Dershowitz to a debate over Dershowitz’s claim that both candidates are equal supporters of Israel.
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