Daily Kickoff: Hamptons Scene — Rubio & Graham at Synagogue; Ron Perelman’s Apollo benefit | What Norman Braman wanted from Jeb | Huckabee to Israel

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HAMPTONS SCENE: Marco Rubio addressed a crowd of 700 during morning services at the Hampton Synagogue on Saturday. After being introduced by Rabbi Marc Schneier, Rubio quipped that “as I often tell my campaign staff, if G-d created the world in six days… then I can campaign for President in six as well.” Rubio received several standing ovations, repeating usual lines including “Iran can either have an economy or a bomb, but they can’t have both.” In countering the Administration’s claim that all options will remain in 10 to 15 years, Rubio pointed to North Korea as an example of where the cost of attacking became too high and predicted that, on the current track, we’ll be in the same situation with Iran. Although, keeping in line with recent Israeli talking points, Rubio did note that North Korea was different, as nearby countries — South Korea and Japan — endorsed the deal, whereas with Iran “the neighbors so to speak” have not.

Lindsey Graham visited the Hampton Synagogue on Saturday evening where he was interviewed by Jeffrey Wiesenfeld and Hank Sheinkopf for their ‘Hampton Volley’ series. Members of the audience asked questions as well including Roger Hertog who inquired about Graham’s path to victory for the Republican nomination. Graham replied he has to show up in the top half of Iowa, which he thinks can be done by talking up national security at VFW and American Legion halls throughout the state; then do better in New Hampshire and announced that John McCain will be endorsing Graham in September; and declared “I’m going to kill them” in South Carolina, before adding “I mean figuratively.”

Sheinkopf followed up by asking Graham, “if Iowa and New Hampshire are central to your victory, why are you here?” Graham responded, “You know why I’m here. Why do any of us come here? (laughter). I’m here because some friends told me I had to be (laughter). I’m looking for your support so I can stay in the race and I’m the biggest voice on the issues you care about.

In discussing his upbringing, Graham told the crowd, “I ran my family’s pool hall, I know a liar when I see one, the Iranians are liars.” Graham detailed some of the difficulties AIPAC is having with Democrats and said some Senators are afraid of primary challenges. On the topic, Graham warned that “Citizens United is going to destroy our country long term.” He noted that although opponents may not have enough votes to override a veto, “rest assured this will not be the last vote related to the deal. Sen. Menendez and I will introduce new sanctions related to their missile program, support for terror, etc.”

At one point, Graham tried to get a feel for his audience of 250 and asked, “how many of your are pro-life?” Hardly a single hand was raised. “How many of you are AIPAC members?” A majority of hands went up. Graham continued, “Let’s then focus on what unites us. The enemy wants to kill us all including “both the gay couple and the baker who doesn’t want their business.” The threats to our economy are threats to us all. Graham talked extensively about the need to save the Social Security program, adding “if you want a strong U.S., a strong U.S. – Israel relationship, and a country that doesn’t lead from behind, then we need to get our own house in order.”

Ron Perelman’s Apollo in the Hamptons benefit: “Politicos among the crowd included Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was spotted mingling with billionaire Patriots owner Bob Kraft and trying on his Super Bowl ring… Earlier Saturday de Blasio had lunch with George Soros and his son, Alex, at the left-leaning billionaire’s Southampton estate. We’re told they “discussed economic issues important to NYC.” A low-key Chris Christie also attended the Apollo benefit, with sources telling us the Republican presidential candidate was staying in the Hamptons with Jon Bon Jovi. Lindsey Graham was supposed to attend but didn’t make it, Perelman said.” [NYPostBloomberg]

–Spotted: “The random assortment of power players who attended this year’s party included Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman; Eric and Diana Cantor; Brett Ratner; Alice and Tommy Tisch; Donna Karan; Universal Studios honcho Ron Meyer; Leonard and Ronald Lauder; Steve and Christine Schwarzman; and new “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, who served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. To get the party started, Mr. Noah introduced two men whom he said he had heard described as the “blackest Jewish” guy and the “most Jewish black” one. He was referring to Mr. Perelman, the Apollo’s vice chairman, and Dick Parsons, the Apollo’s chairman.” [WSJ]

2016 WATCH: “Joe Biden strategy for White House run taking shape” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “Biden’s circle has identified what they see as their potential voting blocs: Reagan Democrats, Jews, an LGBT base that largely credits him with pushing President Barack Obama into supporting gay marriage.” [Politico] • Jeffrey Goldberg tweets: “Naturally has me thinking: Do I know any gay Jewish Reaganites?” [Twitter]

“G.O.P. Is Vague on Using Power Abroad” by David E. Sanger: “If the diverse group of candidates competing for the Republican presidential nomination agree on one thing when describing how they would engage with the world if they made it to the White House, it is this: If only the United States were stronger, and more feared, the country would not feel threatened by the Islamic State, manipulated by Iran or challenged by a rising China. But after that, finding any consensus on how they would exercise American power differently from President Obama, or a Democratic opponent in 2016, much less how they would define an alternative Republican foreign policy, gets a bit messy.” [NYTimes]

“Ben Carson suggests Obama is ‘anti-Semitic’ with Iran deal” by Jennifer Shutt: “I think anything is anti-Semitic if it’s against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies and by people who want to destroy them and to sort of ignore that and to act like everything is normal there and that these people are paranoid is anti-Semitic,” Carson said on “Fox News Sunday.” Carson did not specifically mention the Iran nuclear agreement, but said during a recent visit to Israel he could not find a single person who “didn’t think this administration has turned its back on Israel.” [Politico]

“Asked by BuzzFeed News whether his comments Sunday morning suggesting that by negotiating the Iran deal, President Obama is anti-Semitic, were really meant to to accuse Obama himself of being anti-Semitic, Carson said no, but, “The things that were being said that are accusatory — I have an article coming out tomorrow, you can read all about it.”” [BuzzFeed]

“Fiorina discusses foreign policy, Israel at Waukee event” by Maya Kliger: “Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina spoke about her foreign policy plans to the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines at Caspe Terrace in Waukee on Sunday… “I value Israel as a nation not just because it is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, not just because it is a society that values the contributions of all men and women, Israeli and non-Israeli alike. But also because I have seen its innovative capacity.” [DesMoinesRegister]

“Mike Huckabee is heading to Israel” by Katie Zezima: “We’re going to be doing some fundraising but more importantly, I’ll also be visiting with a number of officials and discussing the Iranian deal,” the Republican presidential candidate said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Huckabee said he will leave Tuesday… and will be in Israel only for “a couple of days” but that it is important to discuss the nuclear deal. [WashPostCNN]

“Rubio says Florida billionaire Norman Braman “never asked me to do anything.” But records show he was certainly solicitous of Bush.” by Shane Goldmacher: “Less than 10 days after Braman reached out about hospital grant, Bush vetoed funding for it… The emails between Bush and Braman offer a rare window into the often-unseen world of interactions between politicians and the mega-donors who finance their campaigns.” [NationalJournal]

POST-PRESIDENCY CABINET: “With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency” by Michael D. Shear and Gardiner Harris: “The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed. “Feel free to kick us out,” Mr. Hoffman recalled telling the President. But Mr. Obama was just getting started. “I’ll kick you out when it’s time,” he replied. He then lingered with his wife, Michelle, and their 13 guests — among them the novelist Toni Morrison, the hedge fund manager Marc Lasry and the Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr — well past 2 a.m.”

“Steven Spielberg held the president spellbound, guests said, when he spoke about the use of technology to tell stories. Mr. Obama has continued those conversations, most recently with Mr. Spielberg and the studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg over dinner at a Beverly Hills hotel in California in June, according to some of Mr. Obama’s close advisers… Diplomacy with Iran and Cuba could serve as the foundation for foreign policy work.” [NYTimes]

“Jeff Flake’s ‘no’ dims Barack Obama’s hope of bipartisan support on Iran” by Nahal Toosi: “On Saturday, Sen. Jeff Flake, possibly the only Republican in Congress open to supporting the agreement, said he won’t. “While Congress has received assurances from the administration that it does not forfeit its ability to impose sanctions on Iran for behavior on the non-nuclear side, these assurances do not square with the text of the [Iran agreement],” Flake said.” [PoliticoWSJ]

OPS: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach — “Cory Booker Would Never Vote Against Israel” [Observer] • “Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and the Jews” by Michael Hirsh: “Why does America’s Jewish community always condemn the presidents who save Israel?” [PoliticoMag] • Alan Solow — “Obama is ‘dog whistling’ about Jews? Ridiculous” [JTA]

Michael Eisenberg: “We, Israeli Citizens & the American Jewish Community, Don’t Deserve to be Embarrassed by Danny Danon” [Medium]

**Good Monday 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: “Jury rules White Flint Mall owner, Lerner Enterprises, breached contract with Lord & Taylor” [WashPost• “Egypt is suing Israel for compensation for “part ownership” of the world famous and luxurious King David Hotel in Jerusalem” [Observer] • “Jeffrey Soffer’s Turnberry scraps plans for office building on Methodist property” [SuffieldTimes] • “Israeli Ministers Approve Blueprint for Natural Gas Development” [Bloomberg]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “How Shay Dadush’s Seat Serve’s app is making every fan feel like a VIP” [SportsIllustrated]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “What’s Behind the Surge in Israelis Seeking EU Citizenship?” by Assaf Uni: “Over the past 15 years, as the European Union has expanded while terrorism and war have continued to plague the Jewish state, Israelis have been rushing to acquire citizenship from the countries their relatives fled before and after the Holocaust. The Spanish government announced in July that it would grant citizenship to descendants of Jewish families that the nightmarish Inquisition in 1492 forced out.” [Newsweek]

“Spanish fest cancels Matisyahu gig over refusal to endorse Palestinian state” by Avi Lewis:“Spanish music festival demanded Jewish-American reggae star Matisyahu endorse Palestinian statehood, and then canceled his upcoming show after the singer declined, Spanish media reported Saturday.” [ToI]

TOP TALKER: “Oliver Sacks: Sabbath — “My mother and her 17 brothers and sisters had an Orthodox upbringing — all photographs of their father show him wearing a yarmulke, and I was told that he woke up if it fell off during the night. My father, too, came from an Orthodox background. Both my parents were very conscious of the Fourth Commandment (“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”), and the Sabbath (Shabbos, as we called it in our Litvak way) was entirely different from the rest of the week.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Larry Ellison turns 71… Norm Coleman turns 66… Sean Penn turns 55… Amanda Horwitz… Jeremy Wynes (Friday)…

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