If, as Toni Morrison claimed, Bill Clinton was our first black President, is it fair to say that Barack Obama (assuming he wins the November election and all) will be our first Jewish President?
There was this from Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Obama last month:
JG: You’ve talked about the role of Jews in the development of your thinking
BO: I always joke that my intellectual formation was through Jewish scholars and writers, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Whether it was theologians or Philip Roth who helped shape my sensibility, or some of the more popular writers like Leon Uris. So when I became more politically conscious, my starting point when I think about the Middle East is this enormous emotional attachment and sympathy for Israel, mindful of its history, mindful of the hardship and pain and suffering that the Jewish people have undergone, but also mindful of the incredible opportunity that is presented when people finally return to a land and are able to try to excavate their best traditions and their best selves. And obviously it’s something that has great resonance with the African-American experience.
And then consider Lenny Bruce’s famous Jewish-Goyish routine from the 1960s. Which candidate– Obama or John McCain– seems to belong more on the Jewish side of the ledger, and which one on the Goyish side?
Update: Here’s a transcript of Obama’s speech to AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) Wednesday. By my count, he was interrupted by applause 49 times. If, as we are sometimes assured, some of Obama’s prominent advisers are opponents of Israel, they must be mighty damn frustrated by now at their lack of influence.
(Hat tip: tim)
Further update: Hamas unendorses Obama.