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May 22nd, 2008
04:57 PM ET

Does Obama have a problem with Jewish voters in Florida?

ALT TEXT

Sen. Barack Obama at an event to honor the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence in Washington, D.C. Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"The fate of the world for the next four years... it's all going to boil down to a few old Jews in Century Village"… that's the assessment of the 2008 election campaign by Rabbi Ruvi New, according to the New York Times.

While the line is the kind that will get a laugh, the point he's making is very serious: Barack Obama could have a problem with some Jewish voters, especially in Florida.

Obama was in Boca Raton today speaking in a synagogue about foreign policy and his approach to Israel. Florida is critical, and Jews make up almost 4% of voters there. Many of them are elderly, and that's the group that has concerns about Obama.

He has received a lot of support from younger Jews – winning 45% of the Jewish vote in the primaries – if you don't include Florida and Michigan. But the latest Florida poll suggests Obama would lose to John McCain, while Hillary Clinton would win.

Obama didn't campaign in Florida and voters didn't get a chance to know him. It is a hotbed for rumors about him: people think he's Arab – he's not; that he's part of Chicago's Palestinian community – he's not; that al Qaeda is backing him – they aren't; that he'll fill his cabinet with supporters of Louis Farrakhan – he won't; and that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is the godfather of his children – he isn't. It's amazing with all the access to accurate information that people could be so pathetically uninformed.

Others are worried about Obama's commitment to Israel or have reservations about his willingness to talk with Iran. And for some, it's a question of race.

Here’s my question to you: What does Barack Obama have to do to persuade Florida's Jewish population to support him?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Vic from Wantagh, New York writes:
Well, that's it in a nutshell (or a blintz). Last winter, Obama became a uniting phenomena because he held the promise of transcending race, ethnicity and class distinctions. After the Rev. Wright affair, the "sucking up to Iran" business and now old Jewish folks in Boca Raton, we can see what the American presidential election is all about: America the "melting pot" of social groups becomes America the "boiling pot" of politics and media attention.

George from Atlanta writes:
He doesn't have to do anything. Enough of the double talk and analysis. Their minds were made up long before Obama entered the presidential race. Many of the older Jews in places like Century Village simply will not vote for any African- American.

Joe writes:
Senator Obama doesn't need to go too far out of his way to "persuade Florida's Jewish population to support him". His base of support is non-traditional. In one sense, he doesn't really "need" them… That doesn't mean he should ignore Florida Jews, of course. Rather, he just needs to keep doing what he's doing already, that is, reaching out across "traditional" boundaries, and being the embodiment of true change.

Audrey from Miami, Florida writes:
I am a Jewish white girl from Florida and I am praying Obama gets elected. I know some of my older family members are iffy about him, but they will still vote for him if he's the nominee.

Bob from Florida writes:
Jack, No more than Hillary has a problem with: math, the DNC rules, the superdelegates, Howard Dean, delegate count, number of states won, popular vote, white educated people who work, the electoral map, Bill, defeat, and last but not least… the truth. Capish?

Ilan writes:
Obama needs to go to Israel after the Puerto Rico primary and make a major policy address on his Middle East policy, showing detail and a depth of understanding. Or he could just wear an Israeli flag lapel pin.

Posted by
Filed under: Barack Obama • Florida
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Nick Bates

    Let people in FL, WV, MI get to know Obama, after the fireworks of this incredible primary season settle into the general election people will come to him.

    Obama challenges the lobbying groups-which AIPAC is huge and very powerful. AIPAC, however, does not represent the majority of Jews in America or throughout the world. As we look to the issue of Israel we need fresh minds and ideas. Obama is not against Israel's right to exist and Obama recognizes that the security of Israel comes from healing and dialogue between Israel and the elected Palestinian government.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    He should do like George Bush did, and promise to send them a check if he's elected.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  3. Dave in Astoria

    Tell the jewish community to listen to the minister that has come out to support McCain recently. In fact, both of the so-called "religious" leaders that have endorsed McCain have also called on the destruction of the jews. Sound like a couple of real nice guys.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  4. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    I'm really not too concerned about any demographics that don't support Obama yet.

    His problem is not so much individual groups. His problem is that, since he's an unknown, he maximizes his appearences by campaigning in the larger venues and cities. The smaller towns don't see him as much, so he's still unknown to them.

    Once he defeats the two-headed monster (Bill and Hillary), he can spend more time in the small towns.

    Hell, he could even get the racist vote. After all, he got an ex-klansman to endorse him!

    May 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  5. Ron San Diego

    Hi Jack:

    He should just smile allot, hold and kiss allot of babys. And enjoy the food.

    Ron San Diego

    May 22, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  6. Jews for Obama

    He hasn't got to do anything, but continue to be the sincere, honest politician he has been throughout this campaign. Only a small percentage of me is Jewish, but I can assure you that Obama has large Jewish support in America. My Dad who lives in Florida, has a bit of Jewish in him and he's been financially supporting the Obama campaign. The Jewish community has an appreciation for politicians who are truthful.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Dan from Santa Barbara

    Every candidate has their weak spots. Obama's are not as glaring as any Republican's, but if he wants to win over the Jewish community he may need to see what makes the Republicans so attractive to them. Christian conservatives gain their confidence with their support of Israel. Obama is smart enough to recognize that, but to date his issues have been domestic. Expect this to develop in the presidential race.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Wendy. San Rafael, CA

    The Jewish population is not a monolithic block of voters. As a Jew, I have always been an Obama supporter. I believe that he has the skills necessary to finally bring peace to that region.

    I also believe that once the battle for the General begins, he will become better known and with the help of his VP and Clinton (they should not be the same entity) he will get the support that he needs from the Jewish community as a whole.

    We are mainly talking about the Florida Jewish population and the difficulty is more their age than anything else. The elderly tend to be very afraid of change but I have no doubt that it will be overcome.

    Actually it will be easier for him to get the support of most Jewish voters than for Hillary to get the support of the African American voters.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  9. David, Natches MS

    Give up pork.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  10. theo

    He should reassure them on health care and social security
    because it's really a senior citizen vote.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  11. Mark in Pennsylvannia

    I think that what Obama has to do for the Jewish community in Florida is the same as he needs to do for all Floridians ( and people in Michigan as well). Make a deal with Hillary and the Democratic National Committee to count Florida's votes either as they were cast or do a quick new primary. Otherwise they will never trust him or the DNC again.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  12. mark in AZ

    No I don't think so. Obama has a problem with older people. Remember older people aren't exactly the first to embrace change. McCain is their man. Obama has to win with huge registration and turnout of the youth vote.

    I think the biggest factor in this upcoming election will turn out to be the young vote vs. the old. Its not going to be determined by black vs. white, or rich vs poor, or women vs men.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  13. Karen, Idaho Falls Idaho

    Hi Jack,

    Obama has a problem will all of the voters who back Hillary Clinton. There are more voters in Florida than just the Jewish vote. He has claimed victory in a lot of "red" states (my own included) who will never support him in November. He needs to concentrate on the states will big delegate counts who supported her in the primaries.. Without those, we will have President McCain in November.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  14. RC Lendz Philadelphia, PA

    Jack, he has a Jewish problem, a white working class problem, a woman problem, a big state problem, and a Hispanic problem. Good luck to him in the fall.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  15. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Our country is so divided in every way, why not between the blacks and the jews. The diversity is what makes our country what it is today but it is to bad that the media makes issues out of molehills.

    By the way Jack, on a personal note, good for you in Chaper 11. I know it is not an easy thing and have been blessed for the last 17 years. So, let us not take ourselves too damn seriously.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  16. Bob, Rome NY

    Obama needs to insure the Jewish community that he has Israels back when push comes to shove. That he has no ties to the muslim world fanatics and or his previous pastor. That he and his family are of the Christian faith.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  17. Major Mike in Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I didn't know that a majority of the population in Florida was Jewish? What Obama needs to do is to convince [all] the voters of Florida that he is the best candidate to change the face on America. I think McCain is going to have more difficulties with the Jewish vote after veiwing Pastor Hagel comments........McCain is the one who should be concern. Obama doesn't have any dog in this fight of persuading the Jewish voters........

    May 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  18. Mary - Santee CA

    I think the Jewish community, once they really listen to him, will back him whole-heartedly. The only people who have problems with Senator Obama are those that are unduly influenced by the media that wants to continue with their reporting on either his name or that radical minister who thinks Louis Farakahan is the greatest think since the wheel was invented. The Jewish community is too smart and they will see thorough this obvious slanted media reporting.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  19. Anthony Smith

    It can't be done! By nature, they are skeptical people. Unless Obama dances around with a kippah on his head eating kosher food, I don't see them supporting him.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    May 22, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  20. James in Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    He just has to keep doing what he's doing. At the begining of this campaign I knew I would never support Obama. Yet here I sit, an ardent Obama supporter. One by one America is falling in love with Obama. Once you get past the traditional fear tactics regularly used by the GOP and recently Hillary Clinton the truth isn't hard to miss, if your paying attention. Jewish American's want peace, diplomacy and a flurishing economy like everyone else and to get that there is only one choice this election season.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  21. Pete, Fla.

    Well, he better think of something very good, because no one wants to lose such an important and key demographic such as Jewish Floridians. Come on, Jack, is it really that slow of a news day.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    After Bush tried to undercut him in Israel and McCain chimed right in suspiciously quick, he may just have to sit back and do nothing while waiting out whatever backlash is inflicted by Hagee.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  23. Julie, NY

    Obama should change his mind about cutting funding to NASA. I am sure most Floridians are somewhat concerned about that- not just the Jewish ones.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  24. Angela

    I doubt there is anything he can do. If Clinton is not the nominee, they will look to McCain/Lieberman.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  25. Nuwan Sam

    Drop the middle name and promise more aid to Israel. That may work.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  26. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Concede defeat to McCain.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  27. Faith

    Tell the truth for a change! He is the biggest bag of hot air that I have seen since Jimmy Carter.. There is no substance in anything he says! As far as that goes there is none in yours either. You and Wolf fail to mention that the rock group that played at Obama's road show ,the Decemberists usually opens their shows with the National Anthem of the Soviet Union! Oh my ,I said something bad about your little boy!It really doesn't matter , if he was the devil himself you wouldn't tell it, it might offend him!

    May 22, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  28. Allan in Harrisburg, PA

    Does he have a "Jewish" problem? Does he have a "white" problem? Does he have a "working-class" problem? These are exactly the kind of divisions and parsing that has made the discourse in this country so vile. Obama's only problem is a media that can't get beyond this childish tribalism because the "lowest common demoninator" can't think of anything more important to talk about.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  29. Selma, West Palm Beach

    No Jack, and let me(as a Jewish person) tell you why. The Jewish voters are well aware of racism, especially the racism that has been used against Senator Obama in this campaign. No other candidate has to
    defend his race. We will not be used as a tool to promote it as others
    have allowed themselves to be used. Jack,. . . they can put that in their
    pipes and smoke it.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  30. Lorenzo, Atlanta, GA

    Jack,

    (whisper)

    If you get rid of her (Hillary) they will come!

    May 22, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  31. Carol

    He didn't till you suggested it!... Now every blogger will pass it on as truth, Way to go Jack!

    Carol in Oregon

    May 22, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  32. Patricia from Pine Plains, NY

    The retired community of Jewish voters in Florida had always supported the Democrates when they lived in New York & New Jersey. So I don't see why not now in Florida. They just have to get to know him better.

    I've never seen him in person, but I do own a TV and that's how I got to know him. They mush have cabel TV in Florida by now.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  33. BOB, VA

    It is outrageous to hear everyday, "Does Obama have a problem" with this or that ??!!
    One NEVER hears this question directed at McCain or Hillary as if they are perfect ! How come ??????

    May 22, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  34. Mac in Truro Nova Scotia

    Florida ? Its a Alzheimer problem.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  35. garrick

    hi jack
    went to see Obama in Tampa and he has no problem with anyone besides Hillary.
    Clearwater,fl

    May 22, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  36. BOB, VA

    ***** correction *****
    It is outrageous to hear the MSM ask everyday, “Does Obama have a problem” with this or that ??!!
    One NEVER hears this question directed at McCain or Hillary as if they are perfect ! How come ??????

    May 22, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  37. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, Obama has a Florida problem in Florida. After actively blocking the seating of the FL delegates, why should anyone there vote for him?

    May 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  38. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Barack Obama doesnt have a problem with the Jewish voters in Florida unless CNN says he does. It seems that the news media manufacturers issues for the canidates as if they didnt have enough to deal with.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  39. Jeanne, San Diego

    I think Obama holds the same position on Israel that most do, that it's a great ally and we have a good relationship with them as a country in the region. I don't believe he'll do anything to undermine the Jewish community so they have nothing to worry about.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  40. byhen

    Obama should just be himself. If being yourself isn't enough, then there is not much else you can do. Pretending to be something or someone you're not will come back to bite you you know where in the end.

    Metairie, LA.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  41. Josh

    I don't think so Jack, The people in Florida barely know who he is. If given enough time to speak to the Jewish community and he convinces them that he is the best person to represent them. I think then the Jewish community would have a more favorable opinion of him.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  42. Herb in Texas

    Jack, he's got to answer a hell of a lot more questions than he has.

    This man is not what he appears.

    There are too many unanswered questions regarding Rev Wright, Hamas, Iran, Pakistan and ANY Muslim ties in his past.

    Seeing the way people, including the media, are blindly setting him up on a pedestal, I'm reminded of the old tale of the "Pied Piper".

    He is no John Kennedy OR Ronald Reagan!

    May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  43. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va

    Jack,

    No. He has a white, black, hispanic, Jewish, Christian, north, south, east, west, red state and blue state OLD PEOPLE problem! They are all in the Rev. Wright/Archie Bunker generation of this country – the ones with the front row seat during the civil rights movement. Change for them has been real, life altering and painful so it's easy to see why they aren't exactly ready to vote for it now.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  44. Marjorie

    If he were a true blue WASP, we would not be talking about this.
    Marjorie
    NY

    May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  45. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    Allot, but not for the reason you think. McCain appeals to Florida's Jewish population because they are largely senior citizens, and McCain is a senior citizen. Actually at the age of 60, Hillary Clinton is a senior citizen as well. Senior citizens historically, mistrust new ideas, don't readily accept change, and choose comfortability over compromise. Barrak Obama being the candidate of "Change," takes senior citizens out of their cumfort zone, and forces them to accept new ideas. In order for Barrak to win over this population of voters, all he has to do is talk about making prescription drugs cheaper, increasing their social security checks, and not taking away their drivers licenses. Basically Barrak need to tell them "your life will be the same, but better."

    May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  46. Raj, Toronto

    Why would you think that Obama has a problem with the Jewish people Jack! His foreign policy is similar to Israel's which is to be engaged in talks within the Middle East. He has ensured the commitment of the United States to the state of Israel. He has warned terrorist organizations that there actions will not be tolerated and the consequences would result in military action. However, by engaging in talks with Israels enemies, a peace process is more likely to be accomplished which the Bush administrations has completed created an illusion of being in favor of but secretly do not want. Obama will not make Israels enemies more powerful like Iran, or destabilize the region like we did with Iraq. Obama will commit to settling the Gaza strip dispute thus easing tensions in the region. Obama supports a two state solution to this problem in Gaza. It is easy for Americans to have a Bush doctrine policy mindset when it comes to the United States foreign policy but the truth is that they don't live there. Israels talks with its neighbors because thats the reality on the ground. The US did not enter World War 1 and 2 until well into them but for those countries in Europe there was a different reality on the ground. It easy to talk tough but when you are confronted with these ideologies, you must engage in diplomacy. By the way Jack, Iran is a country with a legitimate government, so when Bush says that they don't talk to terrorists, I agree however Iran is not a terrorist organization. Bush should consult with the CIA to get his facts right and don't cherry pick the facts.

    If we go by Hillary's logic on who supports Obama it would be rich, educated, white or middle eastern, urban people. If the Florida people think differently, well you don't live in your motherland, you don't have Israels interests in your mind, rather you have US imperialism in your head. What you believe in is that since your safe half way across the world in the United States, you can play "Risk" (game) with the region. You don't understand that a safe Israel will only occur with a peaceful Middle East.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  47. Joe in DE

    Obama's problems are with mmuch large segement of the Democratic voter's. If there is evidence of a particlar "Jewish" problem, it remains to be demonstrated. Too much race, ethnic, gender being raised – real or imaginary. If it does not exist he media seems intent on drumming it up.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  48. Maggie

    There is nothing he can do. These people are smart and know a con man when they see one. There has been too much derogatory about this man if one does any research at all. They know terrorist groups love him.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  49. Amy, NY

    No Obama does not have a Jewish problem in Florida. Right now he has a Hillary Clinton problem in Florida.

    Hillary is trying to discredit Obama and cast doubt on him so that she can be the nominee. Once she stops being a sore loser and stop trying to con everyone into believing her false logic, the democrats can move forward with Obama as their rightful nominee. Have faith, there is no doubt in my mind and many others that Obama is the best candidate to win the general election.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  50. Steve ,Idaho

    The Jewish community has historically voted Democrat. Although Hillary has gotten a higher percentage of the older Jewish votes, it does not mean Obama would NOT pick them up when he's officially the nominee.

    He's just now beginning to campaign in Florida and like all other states, the more he campaigns the more people like him. If Obama can get an endorsement from an ex-clan member (Senator Byrd) than the Jewish vote ought to come easy.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  51. dennis hunter

    the jewish people need to get to know Obama and not listen to the Bush/ McCain chatter. They are just trying to spread fear with lies just like they did when they started the war. look how many lives and how much money it has cost us and others. just one lie can spread so much fear and cost so much.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  52. Michael Steuer Bedford N.Y.

    Sen. Obama should stress his Harvard Law accomplishments. Older Jewish people have tremendous respect for the value of education and can't be impressed that Sen. McCain was joking about how close to the bottom of his Annapolis class he finished. Then Obama should do some shuffleboard and canasta photo-ops.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  53. Debbie,NJ

    Its easy. Let them see how John McCain will sell them or throw them under the bus for an endorsement from John Hagee.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  54. Adam Mercer

    Jack,

    In order to reach out to jewish voters he has to do what he has been doing up to now, give a good speech and convince people he has sound judgement. Letting McCain and Clinton convince people that he will hand Isreal over to their Arab neighbors as part of the Inaugural Ceremony is just lunacy. The man wants to sit down and talk to the enemies of the United States to see if he can get a read on them and convince them to be reasonable. Did anyone think Reagan was nuts when he wanted to talk to the USSR to see what might be done to losen their control of Eastern Europe?

    Not talking hasn't done America much good so far, Cuba is still Cuba after 50 years of not talking, Iran is more hostile than it has been in years, and the only place that Bush has had foreign policy success is North Korea, and he talked to them!

    May 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  55. cy gardner

    How late do you guys stay up thinking of ignorant trivia to kvetch about? You say Jews make up 4% of Florida's vote and that the young Jews like Obama. How is that a bigger deal than the high percentage of redneck bigots that live in Florida? Don't they make up a bigger share of Florida's electorate? And how come I never hear you bring up the role Florida Republicans played in the Democrat's primary problems? The majority GOP legislature passed the bill to move up the primary and the Republican Governor signed the bill. But, I never hear this mentioned when "pundits" discuss the Florida primary. cy gardner arlington, VA

    May 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  56. Rosalynd Florida

    Once people get to know Obama he will do just fine. The Media keep asking does Obama have a problem with ?__ Fill in the blink. In the general election it will be Obama vs McSame. I think the choice is quite clearly Obama!

    May 22, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  57. Kathy/GA

    Obama just needs to play the tape of the preacher that McCain hunted down and begged for his endorsement. I think Hagee saying that Hitler carried out God's will to drive the Jews back to Israel. This seems to trumph anything that Wright thought or said. Mccain has not rejected or denounced him so he must agree with his views.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  58. Terry in Hanover County

    Why should one block of voters count more than another? I don't remember any campaign where the press has so finely divided the voters into this ethnic block or that racial block. Every vote and every voter counts. Obama should concentrate on "people." If he wants votes out of Florida, then he should stand with Hillary and count Florida as the voters decided. After all, he did run at least one ad and didn't take his name off the ballot in that state. He has to live with his choices made during the campaign because as President we will all have to live with the choices he makes, just like we're all suffering through the choices "W" has made.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  59. Mary in AL

    Jack, I believe Obama has a zionist problem in Florida. Liebermann, that right wing zionist, has been calling those cards into play. I don't think the average Jewish voter is necessarily a zionist. I have heard that Obama dealt well with the Jewish community in Illinois. If he has a Jewish problem in Florida, it is probably thanks to the repercussions of Jeremiah Wright. I just hope that all voters, regardless of race or creed, can see past their collective noses and realize that Obama is the one to try and heal our damaged relations with the rest of the world and represents real change.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  60. Shirley-Ohio

    He needs to continue to talk about change and once Hillary is out of the way and the media stop brainwashing people into thinking they have a problem with Obama, the he will do just fine. If people want change then they will vote for Obama, if they don't and want to continue on with another Bush term, then they will vote for McCain it is that simple.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  61. Mary Johnson

    Die on the Cross and rise from the dead. I have Jews in my family and they are adamantly against Barak Obama. They believe those things you said in your piece and I cannot convince them otherwise.
    Mary from Sarasota, FL

    May 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  62. Adrienne, Miami, FL

    Jack,

    All Obama has to do is what he's done everywhere else – actually campaign in the state. Once people get to know him, his numbers will start to go up. Now, the fact that the Jewish population in the state tends to be very elderly may make it harder for him because he has had a more difficult time winning elderly voters.

    I'm hoping that these voters will come around once they get a chance to kick the tires. I do think, however, that Obama needs to really crush these false rumors, and do it quickly.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  63. Sherry

    I am jewish and a Floridian. I am an Obama supporter and I am shocked by the misinformation believed by other Jewish people in Florida that I have spoken to. They believe Obama is a muslim who would be dangerous to Israel, and they also believe he is a follower of Luis Farrakan and believes the anti-semetic rhetoric of Reverend Wright. No matter how many facts I present to them, such as that he is a Christian and has similar views on Israel as most other Democrats, they still believe the misinformation. I don't know if Obama can overcome these prejudices, but I hope that if he spends alot of time with the Jewish community in Florida and they get to know him and his views, they will overcome what appears to be nothing more than unsubstantiated prejudice.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  64. Megan, ID

    Jack,

    Obama doesn't have a problem with ANY voter. You are phrasing this question the wrong way. The question should say do Jewish voters have a problem with Obama?

    May 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  65. Jane, NC

    Of course, just as he does with half the other democrats in the country. As much as the media keeps trying to portray him as the nominee, this race is still virtually a tie.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  66. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    Jeez lets ask Hillary she should be able to answer that, she has an answer to everything and if she does'nt she will invent one. I love the old man falling asleep behind her at her florida rally, he said it all. I think Obama can overcome anything once he is the nominee and the democratic party gets behind him.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  67. Scott

    Pick Hillary as a running mate.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  68. Chuck in Minnesota

    Yes Jack, when you have a spiritual mentor that is as hostile to Isreal as the Rev. Wright and you have a twenty year history of listening to his spiritual advice, it would be hard for anyone in the Jewish community to not be concerned.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  69. Jon from Austin, TX

    He should get Seinfeld to do a TV spot for him in Florida, get the Beastie Boys to dedicate a song for him in the name of Florida, promise to be tough on Iran, and stand in line at all the Luby's in Florida to shake everyone's hand just before all those 'early bird specials'.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  70. David Morrow

    I agree with Mark in PA! If my primary vote does not fully count, then I will stay home or perhaps vote for McCain(?). I will never trust DNC again; this from someone who has voted Democratic since I voted for JFK. I am a well educated (MS in Eng) WASP!

    May 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  71. Anthony Garritano

    Jack, Obama has bigger problems. He hasn't won the popular vote and he's been fighting hard behind the scenes to keep Florida and Michigan out of the process. When you lose the popular vote and try to disinfranchise voters that don't vote for you that's an issue. Until reason enters the process and the DNC and super delegates alike realize this guys is just a sham the party will never be united and Jews will be the least of his issues as half the country's Democrats won't vote for him in November. Way to screw things up again DNC!

    May 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  72. Helen from Mifflin County, PA

    Obama just needs to keep on being Obama. With time the people will come to know him. Also, Hillary has to stop painting Obama as the evil person trying to keep their votes from being counted. Some of the mis-information about Obama comes directly from Clinton's portrayal of him in her speeches. Turn off Hillary, let Obama be the democratic voice and he'll do just fine.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  73. Don in Florida

    He needs to tell them that his plans of dialogue and diplomacy with our common enemies in all of our interests and show them how he plans to accomplish this. Also he should remind them of how less safe they have become under Bush.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  74. Ed

    So, Barry, do the votes from Florida count or not? Oh, I see... they didn't count in January, but now they will count in November. Like a great man once said, you were against it before you were for it.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  75. Debby

    He won't be able to anything. Lets just say Florida won't be Obamaland and leave at that.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  76. Johnny G, NY

    Barack Obama shouldn't have an issue with Jewish voters in Florida. He has done nothing but preach unity for all Americans in this country since his campaign began. If anything, Barack should be favored among Jewish voters nationwide because of his enthusiasm on wanting to steady out their issues with the middle east. His foreign policy should appeal to them uncomplicatedly.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  77. Pat in Cali

    Here's a better question. Has Hillary Clinton hurt her future in politics?

    Barack will do fine with Jewish voters because Jewish people very are smart. They are some of the most brilliant people in the world. If you look at the way Barack has run his campaign, they will recognize that he's the change that this country needs.

    Here's another question. Does McCain's pastor Hagee hurt him with the Jewish vote?

    May 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  78. George

    Drop out of the race, and that will suit them just fine....

    May 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  79. Darion, MS

    Do Jewish voters have a problem with cheaper gas prices, soldiers returning home, etc?

    Barack is for America and Jewish voters.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  80. Problem you say

    Obama has many problems – the bigges of which he will not win in the general election. Which means the dem. party has a huge problem. They backed the wrong person!! How can anyone not see this. Obama is alreday picking out his "VP" and he is not formally the nominee. What a smug person. Hillary has the popular vote and if she is not the nominee McCain will win. Period!

    May 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  81. Jayne in NH

    Jewish voters and others with qualms about Obama will be won over by his intellect, affability, inspiration and insight. The fact he has more than a million and a half donors to his campaign should be an indication to those who don't know him that there is something very special about his candidacy. We have to vote for the future in November; we can't afford to vote for the past.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  82. chocho

    i think he will be fine; i mean, isnt isreal in talks with syria now. i guess its good to talk to your enemies after all. why isnt cnn reporting on it.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  83. Robert Mpls MN

    He has a problem with elderly Jewish voters in Florida, and the problem lies with them, not with him. He has a problem with Jewish voters nationally because you, and the rest of the corporate media, have declared it to be so.

    This comment will await moderation.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  84. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    He needs to do what he's done everywhere else: speak honestly. Once he steps up to a podium, he puts moronic rumors to rest and brings to light the potential for something new to happen in Washington.

    However, Obama needs to realize that many of this demographic simply won't vote for him anyways. They're old, retired, white, Jewish people... not exactly a prime, Obama-graphic.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  85. Meryl Modica

    He should have a barmitvah.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  86. Haim, Brooklyn-NY

    Barack means "Blessed"

    It is a semitic name...

    We know this much about him and find it very intriguing.

    There is no reason for him not to do well with Jews anywhere.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  87. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    If I may quote that classic musical about Jewish life, Fiddler on the Roof, "Tradition! Tradition!"

    Oh, wait, his campaign is based on change...

    May 22, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  88. ron from canada

    with people like Farrakahn and Syrian born and raised Tony Rezko in his background i'm sure they will be a little uneasy he will have problems with the working class as well because they can see through him unlike the young people who only listen to the rhetoric. being a far left liberal he suits the affluent just right unfortunately for the democrats thats not going to get them the white house but thats alright Jack you can blame Clinton for that too.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  89. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    I think the Jews given the choice between Obama and McCain will choose Obama. Obama has been passionate about his views on the Jewish community.

    Also, given Rev Haggee's recent comments and McCain's silence on it, the Jewish community may be wary of his intentions.

    Bottom line, Israel is threatened because Bush's decisions on the war made it's emenies stronger. McCain's policies mirror Bush's. Need we say more?

    May 22, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  90. Carl

    I don't think that he has a problem with Jews. Rather, Hillary has the advantage of being the wife of Bill and therefore has name recognition which has given her so much support with older voters, both Jewish and non. I honestly think that if she had not been the presidents wife, she would not be where she is – as mean as that sounds.

    I myself am Jewish and I can tell you first hand, Jews are very tolerant of other religions and other creeds. Once Obama makes himself more known during his campaign against McCain, people will start to support him more.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  91. Dan (Nussbaum)

    I don 't know about Florida, but tour Jewish community up here in Connecticut voted 62% for Obama. As the Jewish community in Florida listens to him more they will discover that he is much more closely connected to the Jewish community and experience than any of the other candidates. He speaks to the Jewish tradition and passion for justice, and when he talks about Israel it is clear he understands Israel not only as an ally but as an expression of the hopes and dreams of the Jewish people. This is more of a media thing than the reality in the Jewish community.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  92. Randall Chapman

    Jack,
    If the Jewish voters have America's welfare first,it should matter what policies he has for America,then the Middle East. Israel is far from perfect, Remember Israel has attacked an American ship the USS Liberty with 34Kia's,174 Wia's and have had more than two spies in our Intel agencies. We should support Israel,but after 2,000yrs peace will not come overnight. Obama is right in saying he will talk to all Leaders in the Middle East.
    Neither left or right,red or blue. Just a un-hyphen American.
    Randall Chapman Msgt (Ret)
    Vietnam Vet
    Las Vegas,Nv

    May 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  93. Wendy in Texas

    My 70-year-old Jewish mother loves Obama! She thinks he is "genuine" and "smart",and that he seems far more honest and trustworthy than Hillary. She says that with Obama as president, the world may have a newfound respect for America, as we prove that we can get past our racial and ethnic divides and elect someone who is a "uniter". She also says that she thinks John McCain is "too old to be president" (funny coming from someone his age), and that the Rev. Hagee thing will be a big problem for him with Jews.

    I think as the older Jewish population gets to know Obama (especially in Florida, where they are just now getting their first campaign visits), they'll see what my mother sees in him...

    May 22, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  94. Antonia in Bristol Virginia

    I remember a time in this endless political season when few African Americans supported Senator Obama. Part of the reason was because they were unfamiliar with him at the time. Obama just needs to do what he's been doing for 15 or 16 months: Go to a new region, speak to the people, share your vision and listen to them.

    Once Florida gets to know Obama, I think they'll like what they see. If they are open enough to listen to Obama, I have no doubt that they will come to see a committed, principled man who will fight for all of us to make our lives and our country's future better.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  95. will in los angeles

    bring new york bagels to florida

    May 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  96. Judy

    YES. He has a problem with Jewish voters and over half of all other 'typical' democratic voters as exit polls have revealed. It looks like the GOP will have a good chance to retain the White House.

    NC.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  97. CJ

    Mr. Cafferty:

    To say that Obama is only losing to McCain in polls taken out of Florida because he "didn’t campaign in Florida and voters didn’t get a chance to know him." is quite possibly the most obsurd thing I have ever read in a news article in my life. Senator Obama campaigned hard in Ohio, and is still losing to Senator McCain by a wide margin. He is losing is states like Florida and Ohio because voters in those states want more than just a promise of change and hope. Being an Ohio voter I know this because I campaigned a lot for Senator Clinton in this state. I talked with voters, Democrat and Republican, Clinton and Obama supporters alike, they all want solutions for the massive problems George W. Bush will be leaving. The people of Florida and Ohio want solutions and Senator Obama simply does not offer them to us.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  98. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    How could the same people who gave us Albert Einstein possibly give us four more years of George Bush?! Get serious, Jack.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  99. steveda - Poconos, PA

    Jack, we need to stop segmenting the population in to Jewish Floridians, Appalachian whites, southern blacks, and educated whites. It would be impossible for any candidate to be beloved by every group the media can define. If that were so, we wouldn't need an election, just a media crowning of the next "American President/Idol/Survivor. This isn't a reality show, although many in the media treat it like one.

    Pretty soon we will see a poll that discloses the essential information that 95% of the nose pickers in the country are Republican while left-handed baseball hitters that spit are democrats. of course, that would mean American League pitchers would feel disenferanchised since they don't actually bat.
    Its WAY past silly season.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  100. Karen in San Antonio

    As far as actual campaign time left until the election, no one candidate is going to be able to appeal to every single group in this country based on ethnics, age, or other criteria. We can only hope the candidates are being sincere and as realistic as possible in what they hope to achieve. As I see it, the greatest divide in voting groups is in the older vs. younger voters, more so than whether they are Jewish, African American, Irish, German, Hispanic, Norwegian like me, or whatever country their ancestors came from. Aren't we all Americans now, and shouldn't our interest be in what the candidates can do to promote a more united people that can live and work together in reasonable harmony rather than all this nastiness that seems to be taking over our country?

    May 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  101. Bert, Iowa City, IA

    I believe that Barack Obama would like to say that Israel should give up all the settlement territory acquired after the 1967 war; a view held by much of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, if he did so, the pro-Israel US press would instantly label him as an antisemite sealing a victory for McCain. Americans are blind to the reality in Palestine.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  102. Michael from California

    It was said earlier that Senator Obama has a Jewish problem, a white working class problem, a woman problem, a big state problem, and a Hispanic problem. About the only problem he doesn't have is a delegate problem.

    Go figure!

    May 22, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  103. Rose

    Hi,Jack

    Obama needs to sit together and talk face to face with them. We need Change, we need Peace.

    Rose

    Port Saint Lucie, Fl.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  104. Connie

    Jack, I bet he will have less problems with the Jewish voters , than John McBush will have with the Black voters. As far as Obama talking to our enemies he will try to get peace in the region instead of just going to war and stirring the pot. OBAMA 08

    Connie from Logansport,IN

    May 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  105. Jamil - Dearborn, MI

    Jack,

    I know this probably won't get posted but he is running for president of the UNITED STATES so why must he and every other serious presidential candidate pass an "Israel test?" As far as I'm aware, Israel is the only foreign country that gets such special treatment in our national elections. He's already pledged his unyielding support for Israel no matter what they do. Maybe what he needs to do is say that rather than try talking to Iran, he will "obliterate" them.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  106. Nancy, Tennessee

    It's not just the elderly Jewish people that have reservations about Barack Obama. Other elderly people and mature people do not like the empty rhetoric that Obama puts out there. McCain will be a shoe-in if Obama is the nominee. Oh, I see, that was the point in the first place. Republicans crossed over and voted heavy for Obama because their party already selected their nominee. And the news media helped promote Obama and degrade Hillary at every move.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  107. Noah in Texas

    Jack, having Speilberg directing his next 30-second TV ad is a step in the right direction

    May 22, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  108. Saul in Miami, FL

    Dear Jack, As a member of the Jewish faith, I have a few suggestions. First of all, be exeptionally self-deprecating and riddled with guilt. Tell them you could never please your mother. Good Jewish people appreciate humble individuals. Next, start every sentence with "What." What, do you want change or more of the same? Lastly, and most importantly, tell them you are one who believes in burning Bushes.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  109. John in San Diego

    Jack, there are no Jewish voters in Florida. They all have a New York residence and vote there!

    May 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  110. Greg Pottstown Pa

    Jack, Obama needs to set bench marks for talks with Iran. Support Israel in the fight agenst Palestine. Publicly answer questions regarding Rev. Wright,not just give a speech. Even just one of thees things to say to the Jewish community,I will be hear when you need me and I will stand up and push the envelope when it comes to stopping the violence in the west bank.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  111. rick,n.y.

    just be himself.

    p.s. your the best jack!

    rick, n.y.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  112. Zoe

    Jack. My mother is white and my father is black. My mother is Jewish and my father is Christian. I was raised Jewish. I think Obama should reach out to Jewish Floridians by talk about the 3 things that connect Judaism and Christianity (and also Islam) – Moses, Abraham, and Noah.

    zoe
    Dallas

    May 22, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  113. Michael, Phoenix, Arizona

    Obama simply won't be able to win them. Senior citizens who are Jewish will go for McCain. He needs to be more concerned about states like Ohio, West Virgina. All states Hilary have won, where he may have a shot winning.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  114. Denise Valenzuela

    No, he doesn't depsite the fact that the media and all his opponents tried to convince them he would not protect them. Once they meet and talk with him they will see that he is a chrisitan, and he is committed to seeing the good for the jews jeruslem.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  115. Matt

    Obama will not get my vote if he becomes the DNC nominee. Plain and simple.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  116. Ms. V in SC

    Jack,
    Obama has to work for ALL of his votes. He has to work for full supoort from all segments of the population, as he should. Nothing is given and is better appreciated when it is earned. I am glad that he is in Florida where the Jewish citizens could check him out for themselves. Obama will serve all of us well.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  117. Dave Arnholt, Moorhead, MN

    Obama needs to show honest support for the entire region and not pander to any one specific entity. That is honesty and I think the Jewish population would respect that.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  118. Ken in NC

    Jack, the best Senator Obama can do is face them and tell them the truth and let them decide for themselves. Some will believe and some will not.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  119. Mark Nuttycombe

    What does Obama need to do to help himself with Florida's Jewish voters? Get circumsized!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  120. don

    hi jack,
    don from toronto,

    i think he just have to be hornest, like what he did just now. and i think jewish community, will support him when they got to know him. he just have to say the truth.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  121. JD in PA

    pretty simple – if he wants florida, pennsylvania, ohio, michigan in the fall – put clinton on the ticket – he covers jewish voters, the elderly, and women – should work in a landslide -

    May 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  122. Jamie Florida

    Jack Obama's Paster said it best. Obama says what he has to say as a politician because he is a politician. No need to go any further than that.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  123. Brad S.

    Jack, Obama just needs to be himself. It's that simple. The Jewish community is educated and fair minded they can tell the difference between the honest and the disingenuous. To bad some of our "other voting blocks" aren't as discerning.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  124. Alec

    Well you know Jack, I am jewish and Hillary Clinton has done a far better job with jewish voters then Obama. I think he needs to step it up a bit to secure the nomination. This race should have been over a month ago, but he still will not concentrate on gaining those last 65 delegates.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  125. Natan

    Look i am a jew who is a supporter of Hillary Clinton. Most jews care about here who is good for israel. If Clinton doesnt win the nomination most jews will vote for Mccain and i am a democrat who doesnt want another 3rd Bush term. He'll need to catch up a lot here especially in New City,NY.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  126. William Berkson

    Appeal to their aspirations for a better world. Then his decency and keen intellect, which shine through whenever he speaks, will win them over.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  127. Tim from Florida

    Hey Jack,
    I honestly think that Obama would have a lot of work ahead of him to get them to vote for him. His lack of experience might make them wary and avoid voting for him. Hillary will get those voters when she becomes the Nominee.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  128. Debby

    What does Obama need to do to gain the Jewish Vote? Drop out and support Hillary!!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  129. John Bice

    Jack,
    It is real simple! All he has to do, is tell the people in Florida that he wants the votes to be counted in Florida and Michigan. That would be a start. Otherwise he is just another politician–no different from the other candidates that you constantly verbally attack. Obama is not perfect. It is difficult to know whether he is trust worthy.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  130. Ravi

    He has to have Hillary Clinton as his running mate, otherwise all of Hillary's supporters will change their vote to John McCain. It would be his smartest decision yet.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  131. Sheri

    I think that in the end, the Jewish people will see that Obama means just what he says and will embrace him. CNN thank you for reporting very good news.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  132. Stephanie

    Nothing, but continue to be himself.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  133. Bill

    Hi Jack,

    Winning over the Jewish vote requires honesty Jack. A track record of not supporting the war, willingness to create dialogue when issues arise and no political pandering. People are people, focus on the issues , straigh talk and avoid Pastor Hagee.

    Bill

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  134. John

    He's going to have to debunk all of the insidious reporting that fox has done about him, and just be himself.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  135. a

    I live in Florida and will never vote for him gives me the creeps. I will sit it out as i can not vote for McCain either.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  136. sharon

    The only way Hillary- supporting Jews will vote for OBAMA is to make her his running mate.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  137. David Jacobs

    Barack Obama has to simply talk to them so they will know who he really is.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  138. Brad Gibson (Batavia, IL)

    He needs to meet with them, listen to their concerns and adress them. Just what he is doing now but he needs the freedom to do it with the support of Hillary when he is the nominee. The faster we wrap this thimg up the faster he address all the concerns in this general election.

    Brad Gibson
    Batavia, IL

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  139. Paul McNulty

    convert

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  140. CR

    Jack,

    Barack needs to continue being himself. There is a song by Bonnie Rait called, "I CAN'T MAKE YOU LOVE ME." Those who don't support Obama, weren't going to anyway.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  141. CyberBhoot

    Wear a yarmulke.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  142. karen lewis

    jack...
    all obama needs to do is keep telling the truth to our jewish floridians...

    lakeland fl
    karen lewis

    May 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  143. Jake R, Hollywood, FL

    Obama has proved himself with the Jews who choose to be well informed. Good information is easy to find these days and nobody has an excuse for not having the facts. I don't see what more he can do. I am a Jew and he has my vote. He will support Israel like every other US president has and will get the US out of the many messes we're in.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  144. Lyndal Sork

    The same thing that it will take Senator McCain to get the black vote in November, in other words he won't get them.

    Lyndal Sork
    Ridgway, IL

    May 22, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  145. kitoye Okonny from Nigeria

    Hi Jack,
    I feel Obama should talk to the Jewish community when they get to know him at least half of them would support him he should talk about the similaritys between the Jews and the African Americas. I feel the media has gone a long way to highlight only the differences.
    kitoye Okonny from Nigeria

    May 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  146. willis jones jr.

    If the speech he just gave doesn't help crush there concerns about him, I don't know what will. Keep on talking and staying in front of them so they can feel more confortable with the TRUTH .

    May 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  147. Femi

    Obama should be consistent on specific and differentiate clearly his policies of how the Jewish will benefit under his leadership.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  148. Astrid Jean-Paul

    Salaam,
    I write...type rather, i see absolutely no problem with Sen Barack Obama gaining the Jewish votes especially in Florida. He must make more of a conscious effort to campaign there more often as well as all those other states that he issues with him.

    He should not be afraid to push forward and talk more effectively such as HOW he will make the change, how...explain? boy he has a journey, not just to handle foreign and national issues, but everyone's issues! he really must fix what our great president now has done, he doesn't even deserves a capital 'P" I elect him for the simple fact that he stepped up to the plate to fix this big fat mess in America! God Bless him....Salaam

    May 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  149. Annette, Washington, DC

    No. I think some feel that because they aren't that familiar with him, then of course, the jewish community would feel the same. If you listen to him carefully, you'll find out that he knows much about the jewish community then some give him credit and like wise.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  150. Jones

    All one needs to do is learn to read and think for themselves.

    Based on what some naysayers are posting here, they are 0 for 2.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  151. Buffalobob

    Religion should NOT be an issue with any voter....same as race, color etc..........we are simply "humans" daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Been on the earth for 65 years and can not believe there are still people out there who just DON'T GET IT!

    I am not a naive person..........you can state all the justification desired but the bottom line is we are all "God's" children, so what the ha are we thinking.......except for "stinken thinken"...................!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  152. Aaron Chenault

    It is extremely important for him to work hard at campaining and explaining his true stance on the issues. It is no surprise that the Republican party will use every strategy they can to gain support of themselves or dissaproval of their opponent, this includes the infamous fear tactics. With McCain making exagerated statements that tie Barak to people and organizations that would cause discomfort among Jewish supporters it is important that he, clears up any areas of concern clearly and swiftly, allowing the Jewish community to connect and truly get to know the real Obama.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  153. Jacci

    There is only one way to get through to the Jewish people, the seniors, the uneducated people, the ignorant, the prejudice, etc. It will take you standing with Barack Obama as his vice presidential running mate, Jack. I don't think you could tell a lie with a straight face! You say it like it is, no hogwash allowed, and that is exactly the kind of change we as a people are hoping and praying for.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  154. James

    That's an easy question to answer: Do the Sammy Davis Jr. move...convert to a Jew! Didn't hurt Sammys career. That should give the rest of the country and media more water cooler material.

    James
    Toronto

    May 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  155. Emil Bacilla

    CIRCUMCISION MIGHT HELP.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  156. John in Floida

    I'm sure he could find a supporter in every Century Village/Jewish community to show his tape of today's speach in their community center. It would stand a good chance of being heavily viewed.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  157. Derek Beaverton

    To get the religous vote, Jewish ,Catholic or other, he must appeal to the true patriotic side in all of us and put country and constitution first, and relgious ideolgy 2nd.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  158. suzyku

    I'm a Jew, my husband is a Jew, my family is Jewish. Obama has absolutely NO problem with any of us. We all voted for him!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  159. Anis Zuberi

    When will Obama visit a mosque to allay the fear of Muslims in the US and around the world? Why is there no concern for the Muslim voters who are a larger voting block then the Jews in the US?

    May 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  160. John K

    Jack referred a short while ago to the pathetic way people are informed in spite of the wealth of information available to the public.

    I suspect this is due to the fact that some people are either lazy or prefer to live a life that reflects the bias of their families or communities. Bush has demonstrated a disdain for the truth and by example has led the nation to this most ridiculous place. There is no mystery to why people are so ill informed. People follow their leaders.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  161. Richard Boston

    A presidential candidate who said he will meet with leaders of Iran, Syria, N. Korea and Venezuela without preconditions and later added that the threats pose by Iran on Israel is insignificant has no chance to change the Jews' mind.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  162. Kim Walker

    I think that Barack Obama needs to have ordinary voters, such as myself, to hold town hall meetings in their perspective home towns. I find it more comforting talking to just ordinary folks who have more things in common than they potsentially realize. I am a 46 yr. old black woman who has pleaded her case as to why I am voting for Barack Obama. I welcome the opportunity to tell non black voters why I support Barack Obama. Most people automatically assume that black voters support Barack just because he is black. This is not my reasonI am supporting him. I was initially a Hillary Clinton supporter until I found out that she agreed to invade Iraq. People do not realize that our economy is in the shape it is in because of this war. If more people just do their homework and look at the issues, I think all of the misconceptions of Barack Obama being too young, not experienced, too black, not black enough, etc. will be erased. Jack, when was the last time you asked your black voter friends why are they supporting Barack Obama? Any and everybody who is supporting Obama needs to speak up, speak out and speak often!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  163. John (Iowa City)

    the cuban and jewish populations in FL., means that dems have no chance to take the state, but they shouldn't really need to.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  164. Lynda O'Neal

    Jack, I believe that he has a Florida problem. There is a perception that he has been working hard to keep our votes from being tallied. FL Dems have grown weary of disenfranchisement. and it seems worse when our own does it.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  165. Arin - West Palm Beach

    I am a Jewish 30 year old democrat in Palm Beach County – the hub of elderly jewish voters, and based on my first hand experience visiting my grandmother and her peers at the assisted living facility, I agree that Barack has a BIG problem with this group.

    While I personally prefer Hillary and voted for her in our beauty queen election, I also like Barack and will vote for him without reservation in November. My grandmother and her peers LOVE Hillary and do not trust Barack. They are very nervous about his muslim affiliations and do not believe he will be a friend of Israel. She was *shocked* that I was willing to vote for him; but, I don't believe he has anti-semitic or anti-Israel sentiments. I tried to convince her he has a lot to offer this country and maybe its time to break the mold, but not sure she is buying it.

    Anyway, so for what that's worth....there is some straight dope from the elderly Jewish Floridian front line.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  166. michael scheer

    I"m Jewish. Am i missing the problem?

    May 22, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  167. James Tilton

    I think I would be more concerned about those running the election process in Florida....as far as I'm concerned they are the ones who allowed us to get into this fine mess back in 2000.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  168. Jay

    I've seen first hand circling around groups of fellow Jews these rumors about Barack Obama; at the dinner table, through e-mail, and in synagogues.

    It seems wherever they started, the intention was clear: Exploit the slightest sign of anti-Semitism, and use it as your typical Washington fear tactic.

    What these people ought to be aware of is talking to our "enemies," Iran, etc., will not make the Israel situation worse, strides towards peace can only improve it.

    Jeff, Michigan

    May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  169. Lisa S.

    Keep playing the sound clips of Rev. Hage just like you did of Rev. Wright. That should convince the Jewish Community that McCain talks out of both sides of his mouth. Barack Obama is more honest and open about his christianity, faith and understanding of the Jewish Americans than any candidate has been so far.

    Lisa S.
    Janesville, WI

    May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  170. Will in Richmond VA

    Jack,
    I think that once the people really get to know him, inroads will be made. Obama has come off as sincere and fair minded. As well as sensitive to the plights of others that are unlike him. This is a different quality than is seen in many politicians. However, he still has to get people to 'pull that lever' for him when they get to the polls.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  171. Ross, Baltimore, MD

    Nothing.

    Barack hasn't offered any other group special treatment or special proposals – why should Jewish voters in Florida be considered so important?

    He should offer them what he offers the rest of America. Change from eight years of Republican corruption and incompetence.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  172. danny jodoin

    Mr. Obama will win an I hope he brings change but what can he do if he does not win a large majority in the house and senate. I would question anyone if they think change will come easy.

    Danny Jodoin
    Apple Hill Ontario Canada

    May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  173. Liza

    I don't think Obama is going to have any problem with Jewish people in FL or Jewish people anywhere! Obama just needs to spend more time in FL and and give himself some time and a chance to get to know these people. He will do it.

    Jews for Obama '08!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  174. Betty

    Obama lost Florida when he didn't give Hillery her rightful votes. Waiting until after he secures the nomination doesn't count.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  175. Ricardo, Austin, Tx

    Jack,

    There is no way Obama can win Florida or Michigan unless the DNC changes its mind which in its Dean-like stubbornness, it is unlikely that will occur. The citizens of Michigan and Florida are rightfully upset and will turn out in large masses for McCain. McCain will be the next president of the United States.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  176. Bryce Boykins

    In Obama's 46 years of life, has any member of the Jewish community ever come and said that he made negative comments or took negative actions against Israel or the Jewish community? If the answer is "no" then why is this a story?

    May 22, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  177. R. C. Orme

    Jack
    I am a white Mormon living in Utah and am probably one of just three people in the state to vote for Obama, errr alegedly. My thinking is that given the fact that his main problem is with the elderly Jewish voter, all he needs to do is spend some time with these voters, let them get to know him and his views , and their wisdom and maturity will solve his problem.

    Clint West Jordan, Utah

    May 22, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  178. Moose

    Jack,

    I am a big fan of your straight talk!

    I think what everyone is overlooking is that under Pres. Bush, Sr. he was the one who be-friended Osama Bin Laden and supported the Middle East during his term. I believe Barak Obama can win the Jewish vote as an American, like many Americans, he comes from a diverse background.

    I think a bigger threat to the U.S. is China and Korea with almost of all of our consumer goods come from these countries.

    Thanks,

    Moose, – Atlanta, GA

    May 22, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  179. Max Vogt

    He needs to do the same thing that he should have done about Reverend Wright (and didn't). That is, tell us pro-actively, why something is important and not be defensive about why the accusations are not true.

    He needs to talk about why Israel is important. He needs to talk about why we need to support Israel and what we should specifically do to support her.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  180. Jordan, New Jersey

    As a Jewish American, I do not feel that Obama has the support of Jewish voters, especially those in New Jersey. He is to willing to sit down and talk with Iran and terrorist groups that call for the destruction of Israel. Much of the Jewish community I have contact with in New Jersey are Hillary supporters and will not vote for Obama should he get the nod.

    McCain/Rice or McCain/Lieberman '08!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  181. Renatus Benayoun

    I'm a Jew myself, and I know the one thing Obama needs to do to win the Jewish vote - tell the truth. Remember Hillary Clinton has told lies in this campaign and then later turned around to confuse the American public. The Jewish community in Florida will vote for whoever tells the truth, and assures them that he will maintain strong ties with the Jewish state. While McCain looks like the one candidate who will protect Jewish interest, remember that he has this George W. Bush's "war thing," a policy that is tearing apart the Mideast.

    West Palm Beach,
    Florida

    May 22, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  182. Mr. Russell, LA.

    Hey Jack

    Thank goodness someone (Sen. Obama) is finally letting the Jews know what pain African Americans feel with our current relationship, it should be so much better. Yes We Can

    May 22, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  183. Maddy Sloan

    Obama will have to clearly define his stance on the state of Israel and his dedication to protect and defend its position in the Middle East. In addition, he should also debunk all rumors about his affiliation with any extremist Muslim group.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  184. Richard Gray

    I think that no matter how much that Obama tries win over the crucial

    segments of society such as Jewish, women, and WHITE working

    men,seniors, and those people who are just so blind that they would

    never vote for a BLACK man for President. That he will never gain the

    support of the segments because he is a unifier and does not

    cater one segment over another.He had my and my wife's support

    since Missouri Super Tuesday vote.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  185. sherrie50-texas

    He has been talking with the Jewish people ie. in N.J, the reason he did not attend the State of the Black Union in New ORleans.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  186. Kathy-Florida

    Jack there is nothing he can do. I think most of us are so disgusted with the State of Fl. we don't care. This Republican run state has a knack of screwing with our votes over and over and over. If the DNC does not include FL. I doubt if I'd even vote. Time to create a new party, the congressman who wanted to split the state in 2 has the right idea. It's funny I don't know one person who wants Obama or one person that voted for BUSH why are we such loosers down here.

    Wheres Gore when you need him.

    I guess thats the price you pay for living in paradise.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  187. Bridget

    Obama has to do nothing except continue on the trail he is already on.

    I am a Jewish female who respects Obama for not going out of his way to target the Jewish population. I am over being coddled and am ready to be mature in my vote, which will be for Obama.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  188. Oleg (New Jersey)

    I am a Jew and I feel that the media is making a mistake by lumping all Jews together, I see it being divided based on age. I am 22 and an Obama supporter while my grandparents in New York City would much rather have Hillary.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  189. Mrs.Epstein

    I'm a south Florida Jew in my 40's and a registered Democrat. Why are us Jews so important to candidates? We are only between 1 and 2% of the American population.Most American Jews live in either south Florida, NYC,NJ,CA, or other metropolitan areas.
    By the way, if Obama gave up pork that wouldn't change a thing. Only 10% of all American Jews observe kosher dietary laws. Most Jews do eat pork,shellfish,etc.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  190. Joe

    Convert.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  191. Tal Liebrecht

    Jewish seniors are mostly democrats who grew up in the 40's, 50's ,60's. They are extremely loyal democrats and most would never vote Republican. Just because they support Hillary doesn't make them at all likely to vote for McCain and not get behind Obama. This isn't an issue as I don't think it is true. Jews will vote Obama in November although he should stil make an effort and try to earn their vote.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  192. Randy

    I'm not convinced that Florida's democrats really get their vote counted anyway – whether their vote is for Gore, Kerry, Hillary, or Obama.

    Add to that the low percentage of Jews anywhere, it's unclear why the Jewish vote in Florida matters at all.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  193. Jerry in Florida

    Oh my Lord! I never dreamed I would agree with Jack Cafferty on any issue. Surprise, surprise! Not only does Senator Obama have a problem with Jewish voters; he also has a serious problem with Latino voters as well as the disenfranchised Florida Democratic voters. His rally on 05/21 in Florida is an indication of that.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  194. Mary, Hawaii

    You wouldn't know it based on the confidence with which he spoke to them today. His speech and Q/A period were outstanding!!! This man is truly on to something. I saw JFK, MLK, and RFK all rolled into one today. America, YES WE CAN!!!!

    May 22, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  195. Cynthia

    Obama needs to campaign in Florida, let the voters get to know him, and he'll win them over just as he has with so many other voters and superdelegates. He has put an energy into this election cycle that has been missing for so long, and that wouldn't have been there without him – McCain, Huckabee, Clinton and Edwards just don't inspire like Obama does. Energized young people, re-engaged disenfranchised members of the electorate, and independents craving a real change – be they Jewish, "working-class" white, seniors, Hispanics, blacks, affluent, or well-educated – will all come out and vote for change this year.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  196. Bev Miles

    Senator Obama only needs to keep doing and saying what he's already been doing and saying – keep being himself – what more could any true American citizen ask for? By the way, a recent poll in Canada makes Obama our choice for President of our dearest neighbour.

    May 22, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  197. Casey - Sebastopol, CA

    I think Al Gore should endorse Obama now. You know he's going to in June. But it would really help to do it now because, if the guy who got screwed in Florida believes Obama should be the nominee despite the issues with FL and MI, then that says something.

    Seat the delegates and divide them 50/50. There is some truth in the fact that delegates aren't required to stick to their choice. Start with an even playing field and see where that goes.

    May 22, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  198. silvio vega

    Hillary should be the candidate from the democratic party, if we want to win Florida.

    May 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  199. Dennis from Phoenix

    Not even sure if this is an issue. I would not be quick to judge based on this question.

    May 22, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  200. Gaby

    Obama should just be himself, and continue to unite ,as he has been doing and this will win not just Jewish voters, but all Americans, and eventually, even the Bubba people in HRC's camp, whom the Clinton's have left behind..

    May 22, 2008 at 6:04 pm |