Daily Kickoff: Schumer’s surprise | Obama: “When I meet Jewish leaders, I hear talking points” | Nazarian, Morgans to merge | Dominating Deal, NJ

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends.

HOW TO DUMP NEWS — Chuck Schumer Edition: No, not the classic late Friday afternoon news dump, rather during the first 2016 Republican presidential debate when all attention is focused elsewhere. Of course, once the junior Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, announced support for the deal earlier in the day, it was expected that the anti-deal folks would find someone to announce opposition. However, Schumer’s opposition is a big deal and was the biggest question mark, until now, in the lobbying fight. Earlier in the week, Max Fischer even wrote a piece for the left-of-center Vox titled, “How Chuck Schumer could sink the Iran nuclear deal.”

Schumer writes on Medium: “I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.” [Medium]

Pro-deal folks argue that Schumer’s announcement is a sign that President Obama has enough votes to sustain a veto anyway. Anti-deal folks counter that if this was just about 67 votes then the Administration wouldn’t be fighting as hard. They argue that Schumer’s announcement undercuts the President’s push this week at American University to frame the debate as a partisan Dems vs. R’s issue. Focus and pressure will now be on Senators Cardin, Coons and Booker.

How The News Broke — according to one source: “The New York senator had told the White House that he had decided to reject the nuclear agreement and would announce it on Friday. But the source accused the White House of leaking Schumer’s decision to the Huffington Post, forcing the senator to announce his decision Thursday night.” [Politico] • “Obama Allies Blast Schumer on Iran Deal, Talk of New Leader” [RollCall]

Former Schumer staffer Howard Wolfson tells us… “Chuck feels these issues deep in his kishkes, and was always going to do what he thought was right. It’s not easy to stand up to pressure and lobbying from a President of your own party and put principle over partisanship. Chuck deserves real credit for doing the right thing.”

Eliot Engel: “I still believe that a negotiated solution is the best course of action. That’s the path I believe we should pursue. But after careful consideration of all of the material; more than a dozen hearings since the beginning of the negotiating period; and conversations with Administration officials, experts, and many of my constituents, I regret that I cannot support this deal.” [Statement]

Earlier in the day, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on Medium: “Why I’m Supporting an Imperfect Iran Deal” [Medium]

“Snapchat’s Weird New Political Ad Is Evil Genius” by Issie Lapowsky: “Sponsored by an organization called Secure America Now, the ad appears to users not as a video, but as a filter—the decals Snapchat users can slap on a photo or video before sending it. Framed by that filter, users are supposed to take a picture that reflects how they feel “about the bad Iran deal.” [WiredNYTimes]

Tech trendsetter & architect of the ad Vincent Harris tell us… “Secure America Now is leading the digital fight to stop the bad Iran deal. Being the first organization with a political message to buy a snapchat filter allowed us to insert our message directly to the influencers at the debate: candidates, staff, press, and influential republicans.”

Debate Highlights — Donald Trump on the Iran deal: “If you look at the deals we make, whether it’s the nuclear deal with 24 hour periods — and by the way, before you get to the 24 hours, you have to go through a system. We’re giving them $150 billion dollars plus, they are going to be — I’ll tell you what, if Iran was a stock, you folks should go out and buy it right now because you’ll quadruple — this, what’s happening in Iran, is a disgrace, and it’s going to lead to destruction in large portions of the world.”

Mike Huckabee on the Iran deal: “Ronald Reagan said ‘trust, but verify.’ President Obama is ‘trust, but vilify.’ He trusts our enemies and vilifies everyone who disagrees with him. And the reason we disagree with him has nothing to do with party. It has to do with the incredibly dangerous place that this world is gonna be as a result of a deal in which we got nothing. We didn’t even get four hostages out.”

Ted Cruz discusses day one: “If I’m elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office… I intend to cancel the Iran deal, and finally move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.”

Rand Paul on Foreign Aid: “I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that hate us… I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that burn our flag. Israel is not one of those. But even Benjamin Netanyahu said that ultimately, they will be stronger when they’re independent. My position is exactly the same… Out of your surplus, you can help your allies, and Israel is a great ally. And this is no particular animus of Israel, but what I will say, and I will say over and over again, we cannot give away money we don’t have.”

Chris Christie responds: “I don’t disagree with Senator Paul’s position that we shouldn’t be funding our enemies. But I absolutely believe that Israel is a priority to be able to fund and keep them strong and safe after eight years of this administration.”

Line of the night — Mike Huckabee: “It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who’s very high in the polls but doesn’t have a clue about how to govern, a person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead. And of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton.”

Palace Intrigue: “Ivanka Trump’s Friends Don’t Hold Her Dad Against Her” by Carson Griffith: “While this is a prime setup for an old-fashioned, high-society ditching, ideal to make Ivanka the Upper East Side’s next Hester Prynne, the image she has created for herself—that of business aficionado, supporter of women, and loving wife and mother—has proven practically impenetrable thus far… It has been a bit of a problem for Ivanka’s husband, however. Jared Kushner, the 34-year-old principal owner of Kushner Properties, also purchased The New York Observer when he was just 25 years old. “Jared’s been getting a little more of it,” says Hay.” [VanityFair]

“The Trump Campaign Has Descended Into Civil War — Even Ivanka Has Gotten Involved” by Gabriel Sherman: “Ivanka was troubled by her father’s comments that Mexican immigrants were rapists… Ivanka submitted several drafts of a statement for Donald to release to walk back the quotes, but he refused to have them published. “Donald didn’t like it,” a person close to him said.” [NYMag]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Scooter Braun and Yael Cohen hosted Hillary Clinton at their Los Angeles home last night along with Alex Soros, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jessica Alba, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Usher. But the headlines on the night were all about a selfie featuring Hillary with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. [VanityFair]

“How a President Rubio Would Undo the Iran Deal” by Jeffrey Goldberg: “Rubio argued that an Obama victory now would not necessarily translate into what the White House, or the Iranians, would see as a permanent win. He was blunt about what he would do should he reach the White House: undo, in whatever way possible, the deal. He believes it is inevitable that Iran will be caught cheating on its obligations, and when it does, he would be ready to mete out punishment.” [TheAtlantic]

Ray Takeyh: “The Iran deal is a big bet on a revolutionary outlier” [WashPost]

Peter Beinart: “Why Iran Isn’t Nazi Germany: In asserting that Iran seeks to murder all Jews, politicians like Huckabee, Cruz, and Netanyahu focus overwhelmingly on the regime’s words. In foreign relations, as in life, what people do is a far better guide to their future actions than what they say. And while Iran’s rhetoric can sound genocidal, not only toward Israel but toward the United States, Iran’s behavior has not come close.” [TheAtlantic]

David Brooks: “3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran” [NYTimes]

Yahoo’s Matt Bai recaps a meeting between President Obama and journalists earlier this week. Bai quotes the President as saying “When I sit down with a group of Jewish leaders, just as when I sit down with members of Congress, I do not hear back credible arguments on the other side. I hear talking points that have been prepared.” [Twitter]

Happening Sunday: “CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to interview Barack Obama on Iran: President Barack Obama will continue to lobby for a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to be aired on Sunday.” [CNN]

Chemi Shalev: “Love or loathe Netanyahu, Obama’s payback speech on Iran was unsettling” [Haaretz]

ICYMI: Richard Haas, Chemi Shalev, Jonathan Alter, and Mark Dubowitz discuss the Iranian nuclear deal [CharlieRose]

“Conference of Presidents’ head denies report he criticized Netanyahu: Malcolm Hoenlein is denying a report in Haaretz saying he had criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging American Jews to fight the Iran deal. Hoenlein told JTA that while noting he said in general “we don’t believe Israelis should interfere in American politics or that Americans should interfere with Israeli politics,” the Presidents Conference leader said he then said that for an existential issue like the Iran deal, the Prime Minister “has an obligation, not just the right” to appeal to American Jews for assistance.” [JTA] • “Hoenlein said, “Many European leaders – including leaders from the p5+1 – say they would follow suit if America would turn back on the deal because many of them think its a bad deal.” [i24]

Transition: Wendy Sherman to join Harvard University’s Institute of Politics [IoP]

**Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Sam Nazarian in Talks to Merge His Company With Morgans Hotel Group” by Craig Karmin: “Los Angeles hotelier Sam Nazarian is in advanced talks to combine his company with Morgans Hotel Group Co., a deal that would bring together some of the industry’s most stylish brands. Mr. Nazarian, founder and chief executive officer of SBE Entertainment Group, is expected to take over as CEO of the combined company, according to people familiar with the discussions.” [WSJBloomberg• “Adam Neumann’s WeWork Will Pay NYC Cleaners $15 An Hour, Stop Using Contractors” [BuzzFeed]

SPOTLIGHT: “Dominating Deal: Mapping out just how many properties NYC’s Syrian Jewish real estate moguls own in this Jersey Shore hamlet” by Ariel Stulberg: “The so-called “SY” community, as Brooklyn-based Syrian Jews are sometimes called, has a near-lock on high-end property in the town. That’s especially true along the oceanfront, where a handful of powerful real estate families have set up side-by-side family compounds. Three key factors prompted Sephardic Jewish families from Brooklyn — many of Syrian origin and working in the garment and retail industries — to buy in Deal in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They were: low taxes, a synagogue and the Deal Casino.”[RealDeal]

STARTUP NATION: “An Israeli security bigwig built Windows like ‘Microsoft should be doing'” by Julie Bort: “Dudu Mimran is the co-founder of an Israeli security startup called Morphisec that is creating a super-secure version of Microsoft Windows like “Microsoft should be doing” he tells Business Insider.” [BI• “Two 17-year-old guys from Jerusalem reinvented time management” [Medium]

Naftali Bennett: “Israel is under attack. This time though, the threat is not from Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas. It comes from a fringe group within Israel, which needs to be eradicated swiftly and forcefully.” [NYTimes]

MEDIA WATCH: “Iran: Jewish Newspaper Is Granted Visa in Rare Move” by Thomas Erdbrink and Rick Gladstone: “Iran has granted an unusual 30-day visa to the Jewish Daily Forward, one of the most widely read and respected newspapers among American Jews. The granting of the visa, which the newspaper said took two years to secure, appeared to be part of an effort by Iran to influence American Jewish opinion on the Iranian nuclear agreement.” [NYTimes]

TOP TWEET: @NickKristof — “An NYT intern couldn’t find my office, so asked a random man for directions. He led her all the way; it was publisher Arthur Sulzberger.” [Twitter]

LongRead: “Inside The World of Haredi Newsrooms: Haredim In Their Own Words” by Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt: “The thirst here, among ultra-Orthodox English readers in America, for serious journalism has created a robust industry of its own — and in the past three decades, several powerful newspapers and magazines have emerged, entering thousands of Orthodox homes, gracing coffee tables and informing the masses’ Sabbath table conversations and rabbinic lectures alike… So, if Hilary Clinton wins 2016, Mishpacha won’t have a picture of the president for the next four years? “Israel has a policy of nuclear ambiguity — ‘we won’t say we have it’,” he says, smiling slightly.” [Haaretz]

Unorthodox Podcast: From our friends at Tablet — “The Jewish Olympics head to Berlin, plus guests Simon Doonan and Hilary Liftin talk celebrity memoirs and fashionable Jewesses.” [TabletMag]

CLICKER: “Watch a Bunch of Celebrities Burn Jon Stewart on His Way out The Door” [GawkerMashable]

DESSERT: “Hebrew National Serving Up Bacon in Summer Ad” by Uriel Heilman: “It may be America’s most iconic kosher brand, famous for its hot dogs that in the words of its unforgettable ad slogan, “answer to a higher authority.” So consumers might be confused to find videos on Hebrew National’s homepage suggesting they grill up their kosher franks with some bacon or halloumi cheese… Ironically, though Hebrew National was one of the first companies to advertise its kosher status to the general public – its “higher authority” campaign was launched in 1972 – exclusively kosher consumers commonly eschew Hebrew National meats as insufficiently kosher.” [JTA]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Israel on Campus Coalition Executive Director Jacob Baime turns 30… Esther Holler… Martin Schlaff turned 62 (yesterday)… Dan Zimerman… Mark Shapiro… Faith Schames…

Comments are closed.