WASHINGTON – As the US election campaign enters its final days, Jewish Democrats
think they’ve hit upon a real show-stopper: an endorsement for US President
Barack Obama from Barbra Streisand.
The National Jewish Democratic
Council released an endorsement video on Friday featuring the Broadway icon, on
the heels of videos with former New York mayor Ed Koch and former US Middle East
adviser Dennis Ross singing Obama’s praises.
The Republican Jewish
Coalition, in contrast, offered up a video of a slightly lower-profile advocate
for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, but one who is an Israeli
The RJC production stars Bryna Franklin, former chairwoman of
Democrats Abroad Israel and a 2008 Obama voter, who is originally from Missouri
and now lives in Jerusalem.
In the video, she explains that her switch in
allegiances stems from Obama’s treatment of Israel.
Streisand, for her
part, defends Obama’s Israel and Iran policies.
continues to stand strongly with our ally Israel and in preventing Iran from
getting nuclear weapons while implementing the strictest sanctions ever,” she
tells the camera.
The videos are part of the last-minute push by the two
sides to get Jewish voters to back their side on Election Day,
Both groups are also engaging in phone banking, mass emailing
With polls showing the race as razor-close, the relatively small numbers of Jewish voters have taken on
heightened significance, particularly because the RJC has made an unprecedented
$6.5 million effort to attract a constituency that votes reliably
The enterprise includes what the RJC describes as the most
sophisticated and comprehensive list of Jewish voters in key swing states ever
Jewish Democrats have a somewhat more modest operation. NJDC
President David Harris put the dollar amount the group has raised for its
campaign as “into seven figures,” though he wouldn’t give the actual
In addition, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications raised upwards of
$300,000 for a dedicated Jewish media outreach and rapid-response team, though
the company also didn’t provide a precise dollar amount.
Pennsylvania and Ohio are the three swing states where the Jewish community is
likely to make the biggest difference, with both sides concentrating their
Current forecasts tend to predict Ohio and Pennsylvania
going for Obama and Florida going for Romney, but the difference in polls are
often within the standard margin of error, making the outcomes far from certain.