Tidbits: Forman blasts Tobin, Bush twins give Obama a “L’Chayim”

  • Jewish Democrat and Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher is likely to be one of the two candidates fighting for the Democratic nomination to succeed George Voinovich in the 2010 Ohio U.S. Senate race, reports Politico: "Fisher has not officially announced his candidacy, but multiple Ohio Democratic sources say he is strongly leaning toward running and is close to making a final decision. [Secretary of State Jennifer] Brunner has already met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and other Democratic interest groups in preparation for a statewide campaign."
  • What Hillary Clinton Senate staffers are joining her at the State Department? Politico has some info: "Senate staffers who have landed at Foggy Bottom already include Philippe Reines, Clinton’s longtime Senate spokesman and senior adviser; Andrew Shapiro, a legislative aide with expertise in foreign affairs;Lona Valmoro, Clinton’s scheduler and senior adviser; and Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s executive assistant."
  • Some staffing news at the National Security Council, from Laura Rozen at ForeignPolicy.com: "Puneet Talwar, a long-time advisor on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Middle East, Iraq and Iran issues, has informed his colleagues tonight that he is moving to the National Security Council to become senior director with responsibilities for Iran, Iraq, and the Gulf countries."
  • At the Huffington Post, National Jewish Democratic Council executive director Ira Forman responds to the criticism of the economic stimulus package — and Jewish support of it — by Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin: "Tobin, the former editor of a Jewish weekly newspaper, approaches the issue from a Jewish communal perspective. Like many Jewish movement conservatives, he is baffled and frustrated at the fact that most Jewish communal organizations are not slavishly committed to his own extreme conservative view of the world."
  • The Minnesota political blog Smart Politics says Norm Coleman told talk-radio host Mike Gallagher Friday that he has a higher power rooting for his victory: "When asked about the recount and how it is affecting him personally, Coleman said he starts every day with a prayer and that he knows ‘God wants me to serve.’ Coleman did later temper those rather immodest remarks by adding that he ‘is not indispensable’ and that others can serve as well."
  • John V. Santore, at the Huffington Post, is upset that the president wouldn’t admit Israel has a nuclear capability when asked about it last night by Helen Thomas: "There is, of course, only one Middle Eastern nation which has a nuclear arsenal: Israel. Thomas’ question was designed to test whether Obama would admit that well-known secret. Many past American presidents have not. The president refused to answer. Which begs a follow-up question: why is it considered impermissible for American politicians to even admit that Israel is a nuclear power?"
  • Shira Kaplan, in the Jerusalem Post, finds similarities between Barack Obama and Avigdor Lieberman: "Whereas the two figures’ political agendas could not be more different, both have focused their recent political efforts on igniting a public discourse that revolves around values rather than policies. Whereas Obama has revived discussion of equality and freedom, Lieberman has delved deep into the (arguably inconsistent) nature of the Jewish state."
  • Jewcy has a story about the Bush twins and friends toasting President Obama with a "L’Chayim," although they don’t know why. The site adds: "Let’s just hope they pronounced "L’chaim" properly. Remember ladies, if you’re not spitting then you’re not doing it right."

Recommended from JTA