One of the main takeaways made by political analysts in regards to Republican Bob Turner's congressional win in New York Tuesday has been the district's apparent shift in support from Democrats by the Jewish community since 2008. But don't tell that to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a prominent Jewish Democratic congressman.
He gave a surprising and perhaps offensive assessment about such support to The Hill on Tuesday. When the loss of the seat seemed imminent, Waxman said:
“'I think Jewish voters will be Democratic and be for Obama in 2012, especially if you get a Republican candidate like [Texas] Gov. [Rick] Perry, 'he said. 'But there’s no question the Jewish community is much more bipartisan than it has been in previous years. There are Jews who are trending toward the Republican Party, some of it because of their misunderstanding of Obama’s policies in the Middle East, and some of it, quite frankly, for economic reasons. They feel they want to protect their wealth, which is why a lot of well-off voters vote for Republicans.” [Emphasis added]
House Majority Leader, and prominent Jewish Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor agreed that the president's growing unpopularity among some Jewish voters could have been a factor, but it's not because they misunderstand Obama's policies. Instead, it may because they understand them too well:
“Clearly the president has severe problems with Jewish voters, and the president’s record on the U.S.-Israel relationship has helped caused those problems for him.”
Additionally, Republicans see Tuesdays victory as an undeniable sign of difficulties to come for Democrats in 2012.
“There’s no mistaking the fact that there clearly is a message being sent here by the Jewish community in this district,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Committee.
Democrats seem to agree. In an exclusive tip to the Drudge Report, the New York Times will allegedly run a story on Thursday that Drudge sums up as, "Dem Party leaders mobilizing to solidify president's standing with Jewish voters to counter image Obama not friend of Israel."
Former George W. Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer may have said it best in another POLITICO article: “Win or lose, Barack Obama’s Israel policies are gonna take a hit.”