Zero hour

Six candidates from six different parties evaluate their campaigns' strengths and weaknesses.

elections06.article.298 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
The Jerusalem Post asked a leading candidate from each of six major parties to evaluate their campaigns: What were their successes and failures? What are their sought-after portfolios? And how many mandates do they predict for themselves? MARINA SOLODKIN We built a positive campaign with not much money. We began to build from scratch. We had no party structure or base. I took all my friends from Likud, Labor, Shinui, Israel Beiteinu, and we came together under Kadima. For me personally - and for the Russian headquarters in general - the main success of the campaign is that we managed to come together and stay positive. It was very important for us to remain strong in the eyes of the public, so that we can have many of our ministers in the government. We need to hold on to crucial ministries. Finance, Absorption and Housing are especially important to me. The campaign's main failure was that Sharon was in Hadassah. I predict that we will garner 38-40 mandates. Slodkin is number 6 on the Kadima list. ISAAC HERZOG The campaign went very well. It stayed on the central theme of h u m a n i t a r i a n issues, and this reached the voters. The focus of the campaign on the minimum wage was a great success. It is an issue that worries [Labor Party Chairman] Amir Peretz and the Labor Party more than anything. As for failures: There were many budgetary problems and bureaucratic red tape made things difficult. The campaign would have been easier without them. As for ministries, we are not discussing portfolios yet. As for mandates. I predict we will surprise the public. Herzog is number 2 on the Labor list. REUVEN RIVLIN During the campaign, the party held onto its center-Right position, taking a stand against territorial concessions and in favor of a Jewish and democratic state. But the campaign suffered as a result of the party not having recovered from the split when Ariel Sharon formed Kadima. The party also failed to overcome the image of its new leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, as one who has harmed the poor. As for portfolios: We are being elected to be in the opposition. In a democracy, you have to be ready to serve the people in the opposition. I predict we will garner 15-20 mandates. Rivlin is number 7 on the Likud list. ELIEZER COHEN Avigdor Lieberman was right to focus the campaign on the Russianspeaking public. He had a strong diplomatic platform, but focused on domestic issues that are important to voters, such as the rising crime-rate. I don't want to discuss portfolios yet. I will be happy if we get 12-13 mandates. Cohen is number 23 on the Israel Beiteinu list. ARYE ELDAD The success of the campaign was that our party told the public the truth and conducted a "faceto-face" approach - hundreds of activists knocked on doors throughout the country seeking support. The campaign's failure was in not having included more secular candidates on the party's list. Portfolios: Education, Housing and Construction, National Infrastructure. Predictions: Less than 10 mandates would be a failure and more than 12 would be a success. Eldad is number 8 on the NU/NRP list. RAN COHEN The campaign went very well. In the past few weeks we have been going up in the polls. We especially feel that our message has been reaching the undecided voters lately. We feel we managed to combat the indifference of many of the voters and energize them. The greatest weakness of the campaign was the indifference of the media, which have become disillusioned. This affected the campaigns of all the parties. The portfolios we're seeking are Education, Environment and Housing. We hope to garner eight mandates. Cohen is number 3 on the Meretz list.