Great reporting by Nicholas Confessore in the New York Times dances out on the third rail, Jewish donorship, pointing out that getting Jews on board is issue #3 at a DNC meeting today in Chicago:
It’s no surprise that the Democratic National Committee meeting in Chicago on Friday will include briefings on jobs and health care, issues critical to President Obama’s re-election. But “Jewish messaging” will be the third topic presented to top party donors and fund-raisers, according to a schedule obtained by The New York Times.
The session, led [by] Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the committee’s chairwoman, and Ira Forman, the Obama campaign’s director of Jewish outreach, underscores a real but unexpected challenge for Mr. Obama. While Jewish voters generally still give the president high marks, some Jewish donors — a major fund-raising constituency for Mr. Obama and other Democrats — are resisting the campaign’s appeals over unhappiness with the administration’s approach to Israel.
Read the whole piece, there’s more info, a little. Will the Times open the door on the importance of Jews in the political process? “Major fundraising constituency.” The usual figure is 60 percent of Democrats’ money; I’ve heard figures approaching 80, anecdotally. Why did 81 congresspeople just go to Israel, could it have anything to do with this? Eric Cantor’s prominence, and Chuck Schumer’s rise, surely relate to their ability to tap Jewish funds. Why did Wasserman Schultz get her job? I think the mainstream is losing its ability to sidestep these questions. I can’t wait for a Jewish leader to say, But these Jews aren’t giving as Jews qua Jews. They’re just like other Americans. Maybe– except on Israel. Jews are to the right of Attila the Hun on Israel. Does that matter? My generation’s first lesson about politics was, Follow the money.