Obama Hanukkah party controversy: snub or appropriate downsizing?

posted at 2:35 pm on December 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

USA Today reports on a controversy arising from the public perception of Barack Obama’s coolness to Israel and the resources Obama has put into this year’s Hanukkah party at the White House.  Bush aide Tevi Troy criticized the downscaling of the party from 800 to 500 guests as a sign that Obama has less of a commitment to Israel and Jewish politicians.  The White House says that they’re trying to be conscious of the scaled-down celebrations of all Americans this year:

When is a Hanukkah party more than just a Hanukkah party? When it is hosted by the White House, and viewed as emblematic of the Obama administration’s relationship with American Jews.

The White House cut the size of the Dec. 16 party to about 500 people, a sharp decline from the 800 or so guests who reportedly came during the last years of the Bush administration. Observers have cited the high cost of kosher catering — which the Bush family implemented in 2005 — as well as the desire to tone down all holiday festivities because of the country’s economic troubles.

But the downsized party has been taken by some as a further sign of the Obama administration’s inability to connect with American Jews. While Obama garnered 78% of the American Jewish vote last year, he has faced scrutiny from some Jewish leaders who say he is placing too much pressure on Israel, and not doing enough to court the traditionally active Democratic constituency.

Tevi Troy, Bush’s Jewish liaison, who helped plan the White House Hanukkah party, connected those dots last month in a column for JTA, the wire service for Jewish newspapers. Shrinking the Hanukkah party was akin to pressuring the Israeli government over settlements or giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson, who led the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, which was boycotted by the United States because of anti-Israel bias, Troy argued.

“For these reasons, while the size of the party may not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, even some of Obama’s supporters may see it in the context of this longer train of politically tone-deaf decisions,” Troy wrote.

Of course, I’m not Jewish, and so this doesn’t resonate as much with me, but this looks like a tempest in a teapot.  Had someone informed me of a 40% reduction in the number of guests to the White House Christmas party, I would have shrugged — especially since the party still had 500 invited guests.  That’s two-and-a-half times as many people that attended my wedding, and as I recall, that was a pretty good party.

Had the White House canceled the party outright, that might have been a different story, but even then it seems like a silly issue to debate.  The test of Barack Obama’s policies on Israel comes from the actual policies he puts in place (and for which this year he gets a lot less than a “good, solid B-plus”).  I’d be laughing if Obama and his allies attempted to defend his record by pointing out the existence of the Hanukkah party, or the relative growth or decline in the guest list.  We should similarly scoff at any attempt to base criticism of his diplomacy based on the same data.

And while we’re discussing it, please accept my belated wishes to our Jewish readers of a happy Hanukkah.


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If it’s this difficult to trim a party from 800 to 500, imagine how difficult it is to trim government spending as a whole.

lorien1973 on December 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

They just had a party crashing public relations problem. If they are trimming the guest list to holiday parties, it is probably a good thing.

This is a total non-story imho.

ace tomato on December 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Ogabe is worried about costs, huh, while taking the wife to NYC for dates and spending his own holiday in Hawaii. Yeaaahhhh.

Bishop on December 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

menorah also reduced from 8 candles to 5.

WashJeff on December 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Attacking Obama over EVERYTHING LITTLE THING just dilutes the effect of actual criticism.

Let it go.

portlandon on December 15, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Yeah, Happy Hanukkah and all.

ThackerAgency on December 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

I was reading about this on some news site and I realized that unless I applaud the Obama White House for doing this, it is proof that I bake with the blood of Palestinian children.

myrenovations on December 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

portlandon on December 15, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Dripping water wears away rock.

katiejane on December 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

portlandon on December 15, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Yep.

Bugler on December 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

I mentioned this going back a couple of weeks. My point then was that the expense of Kosher food was being blamed on the reduction in guests. This seemed lame considering his $100 steaks, and date nights in Manhattan, Inaugeration parties, special tents, and other excesses. And yet, when he DOES FINALLY cut back on expenses…its for Jews.

Just sayin’

DrAllecon on December 15, 2009 at 2:47 PM

menorah also reduced from 8 candles to 5.

WashJeff on December 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Wiping tears of glee from my eyes!

Bob's Kid on December 15, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Observers have cited the high cost of kosher catering

Jew-care is too expensive, so the natural solution is rationing.

rw on December 15, 2009 at 2:49 PM

MUSLIM PREZ SNUBS JEWS.

Shocking.

angryed on December 15, 2009 at 2:50 PM

If a gentile President having a Jewish celebration is no longer a cause for pride or appreciation, but a snarky catfight over attendance, cancel the damn thing. I support the right of a President to adhere to his own faith tradition.

Chris_Balsz on December 15, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Yeah, its interesting that he claims he’s “poor” when he’s got to spend money on things he doesn’t like. Like Jews and the Military.
When its his Weekly Wagyu Kobe beef parties no expense is spared. At let’s not forget this is the guy who keeps the White House at Hawaii temps all winter long!

Iblis on December 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I don’t see why a non-Jewish president should be obligated to have a Hanukkah party at all, anyways.

Of course, we could have fun pointing out inconsistencies. Hanukkah party at the White House, “Holiday” tree on the mall.

kc8ukw on December 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I would have shrugged — especially since the party still had 500 invited guests

More likely, the WH upped the number of invitations to 1000, then only got 350 positive RSVPs!

RushBaby on December 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

If it’s this difficult to trim a party from 800 to 500, imagine how difficult it is to trim government spending as a whole.

lorien1973 on December 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Game over, folks. lorein1973 got it in one.

bluelightbrigade on December 15, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I mentioned this going back a couple of weeks. My point then was that the expense of Kosher food was being blamed on the reduction in guests. This seemed lame considering his $100 steaks, and date nights in Manhattan, Inaugeration parties, special tents, and other excesses. And yet, when he DOES FINALLY cut back on expenses…its for Jews.

Just sayin’

DrAllecon on December 15, 2009 at 2:47 PM

He pays for his own date nights. Heck, he even pays for his own half smokes at Ben’s Chili Bowl (“because Bill Cosby says so”). Inaugural parties were paid for by tickets, sponsors and donations. And the steak he served wasn’t the $100 dollar a pound kind (it was domestic “Wagyu”).

So yeah, tempest in a teapot.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Yeah, let’s shrug off his decision because he says he wants to lower costs. Seems like a plausible excuse as he explodes the deficit and rams trillion-dollar legislation down our throats.

amerpundit on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Had the White House canceled the party outright, that might have been a different story, but even then it seems like a silly issue to debate.

I question the timing. They have not shown any prior interest in cost-cutting (Wagyu steaks, Air Force 1 to NYC for date night, and so forth), and they actually increased the number of guests at the now infamous State Dinner.

Buy Danish on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

menorah also reduced from 8 candles to 5.

WashJeff on December 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

+100

laurakbarr on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Bush aide Tevi Troy criticized the downscaling of the party from 800 to 500 guests as a sign that Obama has less of a commitment to Israel and Jewish politicians.

Actually, to be accurate, he was elaborating on an article by Hilary Krieger in the Jerusalem Post.

notropis on December 15, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Sorry about the bold. I meant to hit the quote bar…

Buy Danish on December 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM

They have not shown any prior interest in cost-cutting (Wagyu steaks, Air Force 1 to NYC for date night, and so forth), and they actually increased the number of guests at the now infamous State Dinner.

Buy Danish on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

But! But! He’s interested in cutting costs? Let’s all shrug it off.

amerpundit on December 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM

I’m not aware of the verse in Leviticus that requires each year’s Hanukkah party be at least as large as the previous year’s.

pedestrian on December 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

The White House says that they’re trying to be conscious of the scaled-down celebrations of all Americans this year

Rrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

While he and his bitter half go traipsing all over New York City and Europe.

SouthernGent on December 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM

the verse in Leviticus that requires each year’s Hanukkah party be at least as large as the previous year’s.

pedestrian on December 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

I’d imagine that it would be hard to find a verse in Leviticus about Hanukkah, considering that it was written well before the events commemorated at Hanukkah took place….

notropis on December 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM

But! But! He’s interested in cutting costs? Let’s all shrug it off.
amerpundit on December 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Don’t ever let it be said that The One is not a deficit hawk who goes through budgets guest lists and menus line by line.

Buy Danish on December 15, 2009 at 3:04 PM

He pays for his own date nights.

No shiite, Ogabe covered the hundred grand minimum that was spent on his date in NYC? I’d like to see the canceled check he wrote to pay for it.

Bishop on December 15, 2009 at 3:05 PM

He pays for his own date nights. Heck, he even pays for his own half smokes at Ben’s Chili Bowl (”because Bill Cosby says so”). Inaugural parties were paid for by tickets, sponsors and donations. And the steak he served wasn’t the $100 dollar a pound kind (it was domestic “Wagyu”).

So yeah, tempest in a teapot.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

We paid for his security detail for his date nights which could have been held in DC for far less taxpayer expense, as for the rest, I would hope he’d pay for his own smokes, he still hasn’t paid back Chicago for his party (unless I missed that news update), tents on the lawn were not out of Obama’s pocket when there were perfectly good dining rooms to use.

As far as temepest, it’s not like I’m heading down to DC with signs saying, “Reinvite the wandering 300″ or anything. Just pointing out that the one time he seems to be making some attempt at cost cutting, it happens to be this particular venue.

But I like the teapot idea.

DrAllecon on December 15, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Question is did they also decrease the size of other Christmas parties? or just this one.

That is the valid quesiton IMO.

Romeo13 on December 15, 2009 at 3:08 PM

The White House says that they’re trying to be conscious of the scaled-down celebrations of all Americans this year

What a crock.

The last I knew, they’re still having huge parties on practically a weekly basis.

Y-not on December 15, 2009 at 3:08 PM

He could cut the number of inviatation down to 5 people and the Jewish-Americans would still vote Democrat.

They can’t complain about this one, they helped jetison him into office.

fogw on December 15, 2009 at 3:09 PM

For me, it’s not so much the numbers as the really silly rationale behind trimming the party, but the IRONY…

Observers have cited the high cost of kosher catering — which the Bush family implemented in 2005 — as well as the desire to tone down all holiday festivities because of the country’s economic troubles.

…that the “never met any $100/lb wagyu beef we didn’t love” Obama’s are getting frugal at just this moment tickles me. LMAO, as they so crudely say.

marybel on December 15, 2009 at 3:09 PM

He pays for his own date nights.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

I know you’re not very bright (as you’ve demonstrated in so many of your comments), but surely even you must realize how idiotic that statement is. Obama paid for the theatre tickets and the restaurant dinner bill for himself and his wife; he did not pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost to provide transportation for all the Secret Service and assorted aides and other flunkies who accompanied him and his wife on their “date nights,” nor did he pay the costs for all the additional security. Those costs (estimated at between $500 – $750k for his one NY City “date night” alone) were born by U.S. taxpayers.

AZCoyote on December 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Lol, our position on Israel hasn’t changed one bit, it cracks me up. His cabinet is dominated by Jews, his czars are overwhelmingly Jewish.

Enough with this false controversy. Heck, even the Jews are calling him the first Jewish President. I can’t believe people fall for this made up controversy.

True_King on December 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Happy Hannukah from me as well….but scaling back a party that’s funded thru tax dollars, in a bad economy, isn’t anything to gripe about.

It’s not as if Jewish supporters wouldn’t continue to support Obama. For some reason they do, and this trite lil issue isn’t going to stop that.

capejasmine on December 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM

My point then was that the expense of Kosher food was being blamed on the reduction in guests.

DrAllecon on December 15, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Oy vey, haven’t you seen the price of matza at Whole Kosher Foods and NY Deli lately? It’s enough to make you verklempt, I tells ya.

Spectreman on December 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Uh, take a look at Obama’s immediate advisors. MOST are jews. This is nonsense.

marklmail on December 15, 2009 at 3:13 PM

They should just attach a picture of Michelle to the invitation…most people would gladly skip the party rather than look at that!

search4truth on December 15, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

unclesmrgol on December 15, 2009 at 3:19 PM

We paid for his security detail for his date nights which could have been held in DC for far less taxpayer expense, as for the rest, I would hope he’d pay for his own smokes, he still hasn’t paid back Chicago for his party (unless I missed that news update), tents on the lawn were not out of Obama’s pocket when there were perfectly good dining rooms to use.

As far as temepest, it’s not like I’m heading down to DC with signs saying, “Reinvite the wandering 300″ or anything. Just pointing out that the one time he seems to be making some attempt at cost cutting, it happens to be this particular venue.

But I like the teapot idea.

DrAllecon on December 15, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Right. And we paid to fly Bush back to the ranch and Reagan back to the ranch and everybody to to Camp David. That’s just what presidents get. It would be absurd to criticize any President for getting out of town every now and again.

I would be curious to see what the arrangements for other parties has been. I think a lot of this is driven by the fact that it’s the sole “Jewish” even of the season whereas the other, non-Kosher celebrations are spread out and cutbacks might be overlooked.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Obama on TV now, yes, he actually said the following about passing Obamacare ……

“It has extraordinary insurance reforms.”

LOL

fogw on December 15, 2009 at 3:22 PM

His cabinet is dominated by Jews, his czars are overwhelmingly Jewish.

True_King on December 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM

It’s so sweet of you to drop in to say Happy Chanukkah.

myrenovations on December 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Right. And we paid to fly Bush back to the ranch and Reagan back to the ranch and everybody to to Camp David. That’s just what presidents get. It would be absurd to criticize any President for getting out of town every now and again.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Ah, like the recent trip by his family to the Grand Canyon. Or the previous one to Yellowstone.

The Obamas are, at this point, more travelled using Presidential accomodation than Bush was during his entire first four years as President.

And, as a perfect simile:

Fishing guide Dan Vermillion, who runs the Sweetwater Fly Shop in Livingston, Mont., reported that Obama hooked half a dozen fish but he didn’t land any.

But Gibbs, who accompanied Obama, was less diplomatic: “Not as well as he wanted. He was a bit frustrated.”

unclesmrgol on December 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM

but this looks like a tempest in a teapot.

Only if he reduced the attendance at his other parties by an equivalent amount. Anybody know if the other parties are smaller?

chemman on December 15, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Spectreman on December 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM

I could plotz from the messhuga decisions going on around here. Only Obama could have people (myself included) looking sideways at a cost-cutting measure.

DrAllecon on December 15, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Oy vey, haven’t you seen the price of matza at Whole Kosher Foods and NY Deli lately? It’s enough to make you verklempt, I tells ya.

Spectreman on December 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Ha! Have some chicken soup, dahlink.

Buy Danish on December 15, 2009 at 3:31 PM

He pays for his own date nights. Heck, he even pays for his own half smokes at Ben’s Chili Bowl (”because Bill Cosby says so”). Inaugural parties were paid for by tickets, sponsors and donations. And the steak he served wasn’t the $100 dollar a pound kind (it was domestic “Wagyu”).

So yeah, tempest in a teapot.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Downsizing the Hanukkah party IS clearly anti-semitic when all other parties are oveflowing with glitz and big expenses. He flew a f-ckin’ pizza chef into D.C. for a weekend. Cheap? I think not. And date night in NY was not cheap for the taxpayers because we picked up security, aircraft maintenance, and fuel. And now all of a sudden after porkulus, he’s become very aware of spending?!??!? No. He doesn’t think much of religious Jooooooooos. Just like his pastor in Chicago. You are an anti-semitic apologist.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 3:31 PM

The White House says that they’re trying to be conscious of the scaled-down celebrations of all Americans this year:

But, they said the recession’s over!!!!

4shoes on December 15, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Downsizing the Hanukkah party IS clearly anti-semitic when all other parties are oveflowing with glitz and big expenses.

Clearly antisemitic?

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 3:36 PM

FWIW – as an observant Jew from a looooong line of observant Jews…

I couldn’t care less about any party thrown by Obama.

Obama’s willingness to treat Israelis as second-class humans tells me everything I need to know about him. Tell me this: WHERE ELSE EVER IN ALL OF HISTORY has it been believed that “sharing” a capitol city between two mortal enemies could lead to peace? Where else in the world is the prevention of a religious group from building houses expected to bring peace?

With every one of these ugly, cruel, senseless policy promotions, your President reveals himself to be the cheapest, ugliest kind of garbagehead.

It is my contention that anyone who thinks that a party thrown for the dumbassed Jews who support this momser says ANYTHING about a “relationship” with Jews is deluded.

I speak for myself, and not for the Jewish community, surely; that said, my friends – ranging from observant/Zionist like myself all the way to “ethnic” pseudo-Jews who still hate Bush – ALL agree that Obama is the worst thing to happen to Israel politically since, well, for a long time :(

A Gut Yontiff! to my Jewish brethren here, and a huge Merry Christmas! to the Gentiles among you – may we all be with a holiday season and a new year suffused with joy, determination, and health.

Am Yisroel Chai!

MogenDavid on December 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM

errr. . . “may we all be BLESSED. . .” that should have read. Haste and fury make waste LOL

MogenDavid on December 15, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Lol, our position on Israel hasn’t changed one bit, it cracks me up. His cabinet is dominated by Jews, his czars are overwhelmingly Jewish.

Enough with this false controversy. Heck, even the Jews are calling him the first Jewish President. I can’t believe people fall for this made up controversy.

True_King on December 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM

I find that most ill-informed gentiles are unaware of history and reality. So lets set the record straight here.

1. Our position has changed. This administration is forcing Jews into “ghetto-like” enclaves in the West Bank settlements because they won’t commit suicide for Obama. With all due respect: f-ck obama.

2. Actually, his cabinet is not “dominated” by Joooooos, dumba$$. There are Jews in his cabinet, but only three are his close advisors, Rahm Emanuel being the kapo Jew. First, just because there are Jews as his advisors, it means nothing. All it means is Obama knows genius leftists when he sees them. Secondly, most of these Jews are Jewish in name only. They have no religious or spiritual connection to their brethren, for Judaism teaches the exact opposite of Obama’s ideology. Remember Biblical history? What happend to Joseph the Hebrew advisor to Pharoah?

3. Jews are NOT calling him the first Jewish president. No mainstream Jewish voice has said that anywhere. If so, site your source. You are trying to stir up anti-semitic feeling by calling Obama, the failure, the first Jewish president.

In summary, a very ignorant post.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 3:45 PM

MogenDavid on December 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM

MD,

Listen, achi, what goes on in the WH when it comes to Jews, should concern you. The momzer is dangerous to Jews and non-Jews. And any Jew that supports him is also a momzer.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 3:52 PM

That’s just what presidents get. It would be absurd to criticize any President for getting out of town every now and again.

Why? Because people have no right to drive across town in less than two hours without permission from a frustrated millionaire politician bored with his taxpayer provided in-house bowling alley, taxpayer provided in house gym, taxpayer provided in house movie theater and taxpayer provided summer camp in Maryland?

Chris_Balsz on December 15, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Thank you Captain Ed and a Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas to you and your family. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year as well!

skatz51 on December 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Bishop on December 15, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Maybe if he had passed on flitting around the world on his “Apology” tour and his trip trying to get the Olympics for the hommetown and his spin to pick up the Nobel and the Hopenagen debacle, he wouldn’t have to reduce holiday parties?

katiejane on December 15, 2009 at 4:01 PM

What was the % change in attendance for the Muslim party this year? If it’s about the same as the % change for the Hanukah party, then whatever. If it’s not, then once again this Jew-hater shows his true colors.

angryed on December 15, 2009 at 4:01 PM

That’s just what presidents get. It would be absurd to criticize any President for getting out of town every now and again.

Why? Because people have no right to drive across town in less than two hours without permission from a frustrated millionaire politician bored with his taxpayer provided in-house bowling alley, taxpayer provided in house gym, taxpayer provided in house movie theater and taxpayer provided summer camp in Maryland?

Chris_Balsz on December 15, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Yep.

We here in Washington deal with that stuff all the time and it’s not nearly as much of a problem as you paint it. And most of his “date nights” have been in conjunction with official foreign travel or here in DC.

I don’t think presidents are overcompensated. And I don’t think election should be a sentence to (white) house arrest.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Hmmmm. Only 1.7% of Americans are Jewish, but the White House has a Hanukkah party every year? Oy vey. Clearly, it’s not a ploy to get votes.

keep the change on December 15, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Andy in Agoura – Shalom!

I know what you are getting at, but I still must respectfully disagree. I don’t think that this evil man and his friends’ policies can ultimately mean much to us.

We have seen men eviler and colder-hearted than this try to dismiss or destroy us, and those men are now rotting in the ashcan of history while Klal Yisroel persists as a bright, productive, and determined force serving G-d as well as we can (I like to think “a force for good”).

It is true that the machinations of your White House are alarming for people of ALL stripes – not just Jews by any means – because of their clear intent to ruin all personal responsibility, freedom, and excellence.

To me, Judaism is much larger, more powerful, and more important than the silly empty-suit socialist. He will be gone in just two more years (may they pass rapidly). It is my prayer that his term will be remembered mainly for the important lessons it teaches about the evil of large government and socialism, and not for his irrelevant dislike of all relligious people, including Jews.

This “slight” is just one more tiny nothing in a history that has seen its share of TRUE cruelty and disaster. Obama is welcome to invite no Jews at all to his borrowed house – we don’t need him.

Baruch HaShem!
MD

MogenDavid on December 15, 2009 at 4:06 PM

What was the % change in attendance for the Muslim party this year? If it’s about the same as the % change for the Hanukah party, then whatever. If it’s not, then once again this Jew-hater shows his true colors.

angryed on December 15, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Jew hater? The dude is completely surrounded by Jews! Why are people so afraid to point out the obvious?

Barack Obama: America’s First Jewish President!

True_King on December 15, 2009 at 4:26 PM

scaled back celebrations? what about the white house prime time oprah shindig? or today on martha stewart they had the decorations for blair house? this administration has no idea how to trim anything.

anna on December 15, 2009 at 4:42 PM

800 guests = Waaa you’re wasting money

500 guests = Waaa you hate Jewish people

At least some of you see this non story for what it is.

The rest of you clowns are awesomely entertaining.

Dave Rywall on December 15, 2009 at 4:42 PM

MogenDavid on December 15, 2009 at 4:06 PM

I have no counter argument. But, I like you, I hope his years in the WH do pass rapidly and without incident.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 4:43 PM

800 guests = Waaa you’re wasting money

500 guests = Waaa you hate Jewish people

At least some of you see this non story for what it is.

The rest of you clowns are awesomely entertaining.

Dave Rywall on December 15, 2009 at 4:42 PM

I have a curse for you, Dave The Jew-hating Basturd Rywall: I hope every tooth in your mouth falls out except one. And in that one you have a cavity so painful, your socialist medicine in Canada can do nothing, and you don’t have the money for treatment in the US. F-ck you.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 4:47 PM

I have a curse for you, Dave The Jew-hating Basturd Rywall: I hope every tooth in your mouth falls out except one. And in that one you have a cavity so painful, your socialist medicine in Canada can do nothing, and you don’t have the money for treatment in the US. F-ck you.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 4:47 PM
——–
1
Nothing in my post show hatred of Jewish people, dumba*s.

2
You don’t have a clue what socialist means, dumba*s.

3
Dental work isn’t covered by our healthcare system. Try learning something – anything -about things outside your borders, dumba*s.

Dave Rywall on December 15, 2009 at 4:54 PM

1 Liar.
2 Wrong.
3 Don’t care.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 4:58 PM

The Obamas are, at this point, more travelled using Presidential accomodation than Bush was during his entire first four years as President.

unclesmrgol on December 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM
—————
Ouch.

Did it hurt when you pulled this out of your a*s?

Over 8 years, W:
149 trips to (487 days) at Camp David
77 trips to (490 days) Crawford
11 trips (43 days) in Kennebunkport

Let’s be generous and take just 1/3 of this to represent his first term, which works out to about 70 vacation trips. This doesn’t even count any out of country vacation.

So you’re claiming that Obama has made over 70 vacation trips in the past year?

Ludicrous.

In year 1, Bush sr visited 15 countries. Ford, 15.
Obama, 16. Big fu*king deal.

Dave Rywall on December 15, 2009 at 5:13 PM

1 Liar.
2 Wrong.
3 Don’t care.

Andy in Agoura Hills on December 15, 2009 at 4:58 PM
——
Ah, so me simply saying people are whining that a cutback in the size of the party means Obama’s an anti-semite means I’m an anti-semite?

You’re amazingly stupid.

Dave Rywall on December 15, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Hey, Obama didn’t downsize his inauguration from what Bush had in response to tough times, did he?

radjah shelduck on December 15, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Ed from what I read from the Jerusalem papers, the party was downsized forty percent from the 500 guests that Bush had at his last Hanukkah party (try to find 500 Jewish conservatives for any republican’s party-just a joke)and when his numbers were in rapid decline. Thus Obama intended to invite only around 300 people or so to this Hanukkah party, despite there being three times as many jewish democrats and jewish republicans. We should also remember that Obama cited costs and the supposed hard times today for his firing (or Michelle O’s firing) of the republican social director which led to the crashgate scandal. Yet the costs of adding oodles of 6 figure political appointees to government is not as big a concern to Obama-go figure. I guess that’s just his B+ intellectual capacity I can’t fathom.
Anyway, once the Jerusalem story broke, all of a sudden an additional 150 jewish invites were mailed to narrow the difference between Bush’s party and Obama’s party. But still there is a bitter taste that it took a newspaper article to get Obama to do the right thing and concern that Obama is still tone deaf with the jewish community and takes them for granted, (which i probably would do if i were a liberal democrat).

eaglewingz08 on December 15, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Yep.

We here in Washington deal with that stuff all the time and it’s not nearly as much of a problem as you paint it. And most of his “date nights” have been in conjunction with official foreign travel or here in DC.

I don’t think presidents are overcompensated. And I don’t think election should be a sentence to (white) house arrest.

Bleeds Blue on December 15, 2009 at 4:04 PM

This is why you guys don’t get representation in Congress.
If you cringing parasites don’t mind it, by all means keep him there. My sentiments on the American monarchy are with the unknown military wife who threw Dolly Madison out during the evacuation of Washington by saying “Your husband has my husband out fighting, and if he can’t sleep under his roof, neither can you!”

Chris_Balsz on December 15, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Feh! The Jews that show up to his Hanukah party deserve every snubbing they get. There’s duped, and then there’s dupid. Happy Hanukah Barry! The holiday that commemorates the victory of few against the many, the weak against the strong, the righteous against the impious, the pure against the impure, the reality-based against the ideologically blind! (Ok, so I made that last on up.)

smellthecoffee on December 15, 2009 at 5:50 PM

The White House says that they’re trying to be conscious of the scaled-down celebrations of all Americans this year

Interesting that they didn’t have this consciousness on January 20 of this year, when the economy was arguably worse and they put on the most expensive, lavish, over-the-top inauguration celebration ever.

bgoldman on December 15, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I’m not aware of the verse in Leviticus that requires each year’s Hanukkah party be at least as large as the previous year’s.

pedestrian on December 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

It’s in the Book of the Maccabees.

bgoldman on December 15, 2009 at 6:32 PM

Observers have cited the high cost of kosher catering

You think “observers” would cite the additional costs of halal meats for the White House Ramadan banquets?

Also, Tevi Troy didn’t float the story – he just picked it up from the Jerusalem Post.

Some people are comfortable around Jews. There was a big pro-Israel rally on the National Mall a few years ago and Bill Bennett was one of the speakers. He introduced himself with, “Hi, I’m Bill Bennett and I’m from Brooklyn,” and got huge applause and laughter. It was his shorthand way of saying that he’s not uncomfortable around Jews.

By all accounts I’ve seen of people who have met him, George W. Bush is comfortable around Jews. I was in the rope line at a campaign rally in 2004 and I was wearing a Hebrew Bush-Cheney ’04 hat I had embroidered in my embroidery shop. Pres. Bush smiled, pointed to my baseball cap and told me, “Like the hat”.

The GWB administrations used the White House Chanukah party and an event on Passover to reach out the Jewish community.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Obama White House scaled back the Chanukah party because Obama’s first Passover event was also scaled back compared to the Bush events. Actually, the Obama White House was pretty close lipped about the Passover event. From what I’ve been able to find out, it appears that Obama’s Passover event was dominated by Capers Funnye, Michelle Obama’s first cousin, and a Black Hebrew rabbi in Chicago. While Black Hebrews would like to be considered part of the mainstream Jewish community, their beliefs and practices are a bit more heterodox than any of the non-orthodox Jewish denominations. The analogy isn’t perfect, but the relationship of the Black Hebrew religion to traditional Judaism is not unlike that of Elijah Muhammed’s Nation of Islam to traditional Islam.

rokemronnie on December 15, 2009 at 7:13 PM

OK… I don’t know who these Jewish critics are, but they don’t speak for me (Jewish guy). When I was reading it for the first time I made an involuntary face of “wtf is this shit?”, the “shit” being stupid criticism.

Let me tell ya, you have a REALLY stupid political environment, with cooks and weirdos on the left and on the right, and really bizarre criticisms leveled at each other.

AlexB on December 15, 2009 at 8:04 PM

I think BHO has nothing but contempt and disdain for our Jewish brothers and sisters as he does for our military. I am Catholic but the priniciples of my religion are Judeo-Christian, so it hurts to hear this slight towards my Jewish brethren. We can have lots of things for Muslims, including their holiday celebrations, but we can’t even have a National Day of Prayer or do anything for Christians.

margategop517 on December 16, 2009 at 12:47 AM