Convention Notes

NEWT GINGRICH  has a Ph.D. in history so you'd think he'd be able to get a famous historical quote correctly.  Like tonight at the Republican convention when he and his wife delivered a tribute to Ronald Reagan and attributed to the 40th president the quote "There is no substitute for victory." 

Gingrich, like Reagan, has a tendency to confuse his facts, not always unintentionally.  In this case, the words actually came from Gen. Douglas MacArthur.  Interestingly, the old soldier wrote those words in a letter to Rep. Joseph W. Martin, Jr., who read them to the House of Representatives on April 5, 1951.  The Massachusetts congressman was the last Republican speaker of the House until Gingrich himself assumed that post 40 years later.

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JOHN SUNUNU, who formally nominated Mitt Romney this week, seemed to have enlisted in the birther movement when, in his role as a Romney surrogate, last month said of President Obama, “This guy is not really one of us. He’s someone and something else.”

Sununu is remembered by many in the Jewish community and among Israel's friends as the only governor (New Hampshire) in the United States to have refused to call for repeal of the notorious U.N. resolution equating Zionism with racism.

New York Times essayist William Safire traced anti-Israel leaks from the Bush 41 White House to Sununu, who was chief of staff until forced to resign in a scandal of his own making.  In an essay titled "Sununu blames the Jews" [for media stories of his ethics problems] Safire said the scandal-ridden chief of staff's "scapegoating to save his neck is giving anti-Semitism a bad name."

Sununu accused Israel's supporters of running a campaign against him because he's of Lebanese descent and advocated "evenhandedness" – code for moving away from Israel — in U.S. Mideast policy, something Safire called a "descent into the gutter of bigotry."

For a 2012 presidential campaign that is trying hard to appeal to Jewish voters and contributors, it's hard to understand why Mitt Romney wants this guy to represent him.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.