I'm surprised Jodi Kantor still works for the New York Times, after she committed to print that bit about Obama disinviting Jeremiah Wright from participating in his presidential announcement back in Feb/Mar of last year.
But not only is Jodi still there, she's still covering Obama. Just recently the Times sent her off to cover his pandering to Jews in Florida. In this excerpt, she sets the record... straight?
Because of a dispute over moving the date of the state’s primary, Mr. Obama and the other Democratic candidates did not campaign in Florida. In his absence, novel and exotic rumors [perhaps via "anonymous emails"?] about Mr. Obama have flourished. Among many older Jews, and some younger ones, as well, he has become a conduit for Jewish anxiety about Israel, Iran, anti-Semitism and race.
Mr. Obama is Arab, Jack Stern’s friends told him in Aventura. (He’s not.)
He is a part of Chicago’s large Palestinian community, suspects Mindy Chotiner of Delray. (Wrong again.)
Mr. Wright is the godfather of Mr. Obama’s children, asserted Violet Darling in Boca Raton. (No, he’s not.)
Al Qaeda is backing him, said Helena Lefkowicz of Fort Lauderdale (Incorrect.)
Michelle Obama has proven so hostile and argumentative that the campaign is keeping her silent, said Joyce Rozen of Pompano Beach. (Mrs. Obama campaigns frequently, drawing crowds in her own right.)
Mr. Obama might fill his administration with followers of Louis Farrakhan, worried Sherry Ziegler. (Extremely unlikely, given his denunciation of Mr. Farrakhan.)
Let me see if I can help a little here. We'll take one misguided and gullible Jew at a time.
Dear Jack Stern, Obama's family on his fathers' side(s) is not Arab, but Kenyan, African. And maybe a little bit Muslim.
"Sarah Hussein Obama of Kenya, Barack Obama’s stepgrandmother, is a lifelong Muslim. 'I am a strong believer of the Islamic faith,' she says." (photo: Evelyn Hockstein for The New York Times)
Then in March of this year, Grandma Hussein Obama changed her story, telling USA Today that both he and she are Christian. But who cares either way, right? Live and let live.
Okay, next. Mindy Chotiner says that Obama is "part of Chicago's large Palestinian community." Get real. How could he be part of a palestinian community when he's not palestinian? Mindy is either a typical white person or a silly infidel or both.
The inconsequential facts are that Obama sat on the board of the Woods Fund (with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers). The Woods Fund in 2001 gave 20% of their grant money to the Arab American Action Network. The AAAN mourns the establishment of the state of Israel as a catastrophe, a "nakba" [But seriously, who doesn't these days? Even progressive Boulder CO had a nakba parade this year. It's all the rage.]
The AAAN was founded by Rashid Khalidi, who is a "distinguished professor" at Columbia University and probably worked for the PLO (Khalidi's wife did work for the PLO's official press agency - in Beirut for six years as an English translator), but what's wrong with working for the PLO? Abu Mazen has worked for them for decades and he's President Bush's new best friend!
Now there are some minor linguistic similarities between Obama and Khalidi, but to my knowledge Obama hasn't yet accused Israel of apartheid, ethnic cleansing of Arabs or being a "racist state" (as has Khalidi). And the two did teach at the University of Chicago together, but so did a lot of other people, right?
Khalidi stated in a radio interview that he supports Obama for president "because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause," but being a sympathetic person is a good thing. Obama has also said that "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people," but that could be true, right? I'm mean, it's hard to quantify exactly.
And Obama probably HAD to attend that big farewell party for the Khalidis moving from Chicago, just to be polite, know what I mean? Does it matter that the party was "a celebration of Palestinian culture"? Nah. And Obama, already being there, probably just HAD to speak to the crowd, you know, waxing nostalgic about eating meals prepared by Mrs. Khalidi and there having a "conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
Politicians love to sit around the kitchen table with American families, and maybe Obama had one drink too many. These things happen. And besides, palestinian suffering was already being discussed around this entire world, whether Obama participated in it or not. So what's the difference?
And what was Obama supposed to do when some of the other guests bidding farewell to Khalidi just happened to accuse Israel of terrorism and equate Jewish settlers with Osama bin Laden? I mean, he couldn't just walk out, could he? That would be so rude. And just because Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were there, and some folks from Not In My Name and the Electronic Intifada, you can't just assume the crowd was anti-American. I mean, those are Obama's friends and neighbors and his constituents. Besides, I party with those people all the time, don't you? And I'm sure McCain does. No big deal there.
Next. Violet Darling in Boca Raton. She thinks that Jeremiah Wright is the godfather of Obama's children, and the New York Times says she's wrong. I don't know who the godfather of his daughters might be, so I can't say. One shouldn't assume that just because Wright baptized both Obama and his children and married him to his wife and was disinvited from his presidential announcement, that he's not also the godfather. But on the other hand, "goddamn America" isn't necessarily unpatriotic either.
Next, Helena Lefkowicz of Fort Lauderdale. Helena is indeed mistaken. al Qaeda didn't come out for Obama. That was Hamas. (And Helena needs to remember that the Obama adviser who met with Hamas no longer works for the campaign. Also, the imam who got to meet privately with Obama in Michigan wasn't from al Qaeda or Hamas (though he does support Hamas); that imam's associated with Hezbollah. That's different.
Now Joyce Rozen has concerns about Michelle Obama. Let me reassure you, Joyce. I certainly don't think she'll continue to say such hideous things once she's in the White House. You don't ever hear Laura Bush saying that she's not proud of her country, do you? Well that's because the government supplies First Ladies with a protocol expert. I'm pretty sure they do.
And last but not least, Sherry Ziegler is worried that Obama "might fill his administration with followers of Louis Farrakhan." The New York Times says that's "extremely unlikely." Phewf. What a relief. Now Sherry and I and our anxious Jewish friends and relations can sleep better at night.
Oh, and one last thing about that article.
"Because Mr. Obama is relatively new on the national stage, his résumé of Senate votes in support of Israel is short, as is his list of high-profile visits to synagogues and delis."
It's not that he's young and inexperienced, you see, it's just that his resume is short. I'm sure the Jews in Florida can understand.