Potential Republican 2016 presidential contenders went out of their way to woo the Jews yesterday, specifically billionaire Sheldon Adleson. The elitest of the elite (read: wealthiest) GOP donors showed up in Las Vegas at a Very Special Event. Members of the Republican Jewish Coalition were holding auditions, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush were strutting their cringe-worthy stuff in one way or another.
Citizens United does it again: How to
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Being one of many Jews who would never open my wallet for any of those possible candidates, I tend to find humor in situations like these. And this time I found it courtesy of an article in the Los Angeles Times that included some of the more awkward moments.
Let's begin with how Gov. "Heartbroken" tried to shake off his Bridgegate scandal and how determined he was to rescue his damaged career by kissing Adeleson's
ass bank account:
For Christie, Saturday's tryout showed the potential for missteps when governors wade into foreign policy at this early stage. During an otherwise warmly received speech, Christie's mention of a helicopter flight over "occupied territories" — terminology used by Israel's critics — during his trip to Israel sent murmurs and whispers of surprise through the conservative audience.
Oops, "murmurs and whispers of surprise" couldn't have done much to salvage his image. So much for Gov. "Who Moi?" and his efforts to restore some of the credibility he never had.
Scott Walker's anemic overtures to Jews whom he couldn't believably relate to at all went this way:
The candidates' attempts to connect with the audience appeared awkward at times. Walker emphasized that he decorates his house during the holidays with Christmas lights as well as a menorah candle. He also noted that his son's name, Matthew, means "gift from god" in Hebrew.
You've heard of Christian Mingle? This "What Happens in Vegas Pays in Vegas Moment" was a little like Jewish Mingle. A speed dating version of courting a roomful of donors. John Kasich's version of flirtation was trying to ingratiate himself by flaunting his first-name basis palsy-walsitude with Sheldon:
Kasich, who had been sitting next to Adelson at the Saturday luncheon, addressed him by name repeatedly throughout his post-meal remarks, as if the conversation was one-on-one.
Allow me to address these opportunists by name: Chris, Scotty, John, Jeb, can we talk? Don't pretend you're BFF with obscenely wealthy Jews when you're not; don't try to impress Jews with embarrassing references to your trip to Israel; and pleaseohplease don't attempt to convince Jews that you, an Evangelical Christian, are "one of them" because your Christian kid's name happens to have a Hebrew origin or meaning.
What next, asking Adelson if he's a Scorpio?