In April 2007, when every major Democratic candidate for president attended NJDC's Washington Conference, it sent a strong message about the importance of our constituency within the Democratic Party. (Shameless plug! We have streaming video available here)
Jewish Democrats should feel empowered that the candidates continue to send a strong message that we matter. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has a story out today which illustrates this American political truism. From JTA:
NEW YORK (JTA) -- After splitting victories in the opening rounds of the presidential race in Iowa and New Hampshire, Democratic front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have intensified outreach efforts to Jewish voters in advance of primaries in key Jewish states on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5.
Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to Clinton heavily involved in Jewish outreach, held a conference call last week with Jewish leaders in which she touted her candidate's record of support for Israel. A similar call with Jewish members of Congress supporting Obama took place on Tuesday.
The Obama campaign has also been forwarding an e-mail from Lester Crown, a prominent Jewish supporter in Chicago, touting the candidate's commitment to Israel.
In Nevada, which is holding its caucuses on Saturday, Lewis was boasting the recent endorsement of Clintonby the state's only Jewish member of Congress and one of the most hawkish Democratic voices on Israel, U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley. Also in Nevada, an Obama campaign official visited Jewish leaders to lay out the candidate's record on Israel.
"I really liked it," said Rabbi Felipe Goodman of the Conservative Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas. "We don't know anything about Obama's positions, and it was very refreshing to me."
With voters in Iowa and New Hampshire having failed to anoint a Democratic front-runner, the contest is moving to states where significant Jewish populations could be crucial in determining the party's nominee ....