Is 2016 The Year Of The Jew?

Ann Coulter complains GOP presidential hopefuls are pandering to all "those f***ing Jews" with their strong statements in support of Israel. To the dismay of the anti-Semites, there's more to the 2016 campaign than politicians pandering to Jewish supporters with pledges of undying loyalty to Israel.

For the first time, there is a viable Jewish candidate for President of the United States, and another waiting in the wings.

In 2000, an Orthodox Jew, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, was Albert Gore's running mate on the Democratic ticket.  Four years later he tried to run for president himself, but never got to the starting gate. 

Bernie Sanders is the surprise story of 2016.  Who'd have expected a 74-year-old Jewish socialist from Vermont by way of Brooklyn would be the Democratic frontrunner in the weeks before the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primaries?

And if that's not enough, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg – who has been a Democrat, Republican and Independent — is once again flirting tossing his hat in the ring

Add to that another Jewish billionaire who isn't running but is shopping around to buy a Republican candidate.  Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson's previous investments — Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney — were big losers, so he's being a bit more cautious this year.  Word is he prefers Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is running third in GOP polls, right behind what we hear is Mrs. Adelson's preferred choice, Ted Cruz.  She may like the Texas senator, but the same can't be said for his senate colleagues in both parties.  He is the most despised of senators.

Bernie, 74, rapidly moved from unknown to household name in his challenge to Hillary Clinton. The son of a Holocaust survivor, "his voting record on Israel recently is fine, absolutely fine," said Steve Rabinowitz, a Clinton supporter. But whereas the former secretary of state has made support for Israel a major issue in her campaign, Sanders has given it little attention, as he has most foreign policy questions.

Sanders was elected from Vermont as an Independent and a Socialist, and only upon getting in the presidential race last summer did he begin identifying also as a Democrat. 

Clinton, with the backing of 10 former top diplomats and national security officials, attacked him for saying he would like the US to "move aggressively to normalize relations with Iran."  An aide called the proposal dangerous to Israel. She and Obama advocate a go-very-slow approach in view of Iran's role in terrorism, threatening Israel and propping up the Assad regime in Syria.

Last year when Republican Speaker John Boehner announced he had invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the Congress to bolster GOP opposition to President Obama's Iran nuclear talks, Sanders was the first senator to announce he would boycott the session.

Bloomberg, 73, has flirted with a presidential run in the past and is pondering going for it, especially if the Republicans nominate Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and the Democrats pick Bernie Sanders.  He is said to be willing to spend a billion dollars of his own money (he's richer than Trump and Adelson combined).  The New York Times reports he'll make a final decision in early March on whether to run third party campaign.  No independent candidate has ever been elected President, according to the Times.

With the GOP moving farther to the right, he is expected to find little support on that side but is widely expected to take most of his votes away from the Democratic nominee.  If Hillary is the Democratic choice, it is unlikely Bloomberg would run because they appeal to many of the same voters.

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.