I'm not taking any quote out of context -these are New York Democrats who have nothing supposedly to lose by embracing their party's leader, President Barack Obama. Yet, some are running away (or at least shying away) from embracing the leader of their party.
Wonder why? What the Brooklyn GOP has accomplished in recent elections might be the answer. Or at the very least, focusing on the President's record of failure and "leading from behind" may have something to do with it.
Democratic Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg of Long Beach, tells Azi Paybarah he's not sure if he'll vote for Barack Obama in November.
"Well, I can't answer that until I hear what the other guy has to offer. I am going to vote for him? I don't know ... Obama, nationally, I think he's in trouble. People vote their pocketbook and people are suffering.""I don't believe things are getting better, because it appears to me there are more people in trouble then ever before."
Democratic Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, running for congress against Charles Barron and Alan Bellone in NY-8, told Yochonon Donn and Yosef Rapaport from Hamodia that he only shares one thing with President Obama: his Birthday!!!
#HakeemJeffries came, me & @hameditor interviewed said "all I share with POTUS is the same birthday" he is impressive http://pic.twitter.com/h404VNgs
— Yosef Rapaport (@YosefRapaport) May 14, 2012
Hamodia: There have been articles in the press comparing you to Barack Obama.
Jeffries: "Well, we were born on the same day - we were both born on Aug. 4 - but other than that, he is the president and I’ve had the opportunity to serve several neighborhoods in central Brooklyn in the New York State Assembly. We are both lawyers and we are both public servants, but he has one path along his public service journey; I’ve had another path."
UPDATED: In a debate on NY1 last night, Hakeem Jeffries and Charles Barron both tried to out-Obama each other, arguing over who was first to support the future president and who would be a better ally of the administration in Washington, Reid Pillifant reports.
"This is his immature way of trying to use Obama to get himself credibility," Barron said. "I was out to support President Obama before him."Jeffries said Barron's account was "inaccurate," and that he endorsed Obama in the summer of 2007.
However, a month ago in an interview to Hamodia, Jeffries criticized the President's inaction over the first two years to focus on improving the economy. Which is basically similar to Romney's argument.
"If there is any criticism that is legitimate over the last four years, it’s that the level of activity that could have taken place in the first two years of the Obama administration, when the Democrats controlled the House and the Senate, could have been increased in a way that would have resulted perhaps in a more robust recovery," he said.
In the script I obtained, Jeffries also criticized President Obama's Middle East policies and his aggressive approach to push for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians:
"Israel can’t negotiate with a partner that doesn’t recognize its right to exist as a Jewish state. That is the most fundamental hurdle that has to be overcome before either side can be made to sit down at the table to negotiate a resolution.""Once the Palestinians are prepared to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, then perhaps we can move forward with a more meaningful discussion as to how to bring about a lasting and permanent resolution.""As an attorney, it is clear to me that you cannot negotiate with someone who doesn’t believe that you should exist. That is just a simple fundamental issue that must be resolved in order for legitimate meaningful discussions to take place."
Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and a Democratic congressional candidate from NY-6, appeared on "The Bibi Report” - an online radio show that purports to reveal “The Truth on Israel and the Netanyahu government” in September. He made clear then that if he ran for Congress, he wouldn’t be tripped up on questions involving the Obama administration and Israel. Although Lancman had high praise for the President’s address to the United Nations, he said that President Obama seems to have forgotten the sympathy he exhibited towards Israel back when he was Candidate Obama.
In March, I wrote this after interviewing Mr. Lancman:
Lancman, doing some quick learning from Bob Turner's book, did not fall shy of criticizing the president on an issue that the Democratic party is strongly committed in defending the President on - Iran. "There's a lot of things to do in Washington," he said. "Iran is still marching ahead towards developing a nuclear weapons. We still don't have a commitment from this President that satisfies me, that he will do whatever it takes to make sure that Iran doesn't develop a nuclear weapon."Using the harshest words of criticism articulated by a Democratic party member, Lancman expressed a great amount of concern on the president's dealing with the issue. "I'm very concerned, that the President's framework for ultimately resolving the Iran- nuclear question is: 'OK, i will let Israel go and attack Iran.' I think that is very unfair to Israel, both in terms of us not potentially sharing in that burden. But it also further stigmatizes Israel in the world,. in a way that is very unfair and dangerous for Israel and Jewish citizens everywhere."