Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Top Jewish donors react to Scott Walker dropping out | DC prepares for Pope | BuzzFeed: Non-Observant Jews Try Kosher For A Week

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Ed note: Shalom from Jerusalem — our hub for the next two weeks. Reach out if you’re around… For all of you who asked, we’re blaming El Al’s lack of Wi-Fi on the BOS-TLV route for the lack of a Daily Kickoff digest yesterday… Due to the holidays, we’ll be off and on through October 8th… Meaningful Yom Kippur to y’all… Next Daily Kickoff is Thursday…

TOP TALKER: “Scott Walker Ends His 2016 Presidential Run” by Patrick Healy and Alexander Burns: “Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, whose early glow as a Republican presidential contender was snuffed out with the rise of anti-establishment rivals, announced Monday that he was quitting the race and urged some of his 15 rivals to do the same so the party could unite against the leading candidate, Donald J. Trump.” [FirstDraft]

We reached out to several Jewish Insider readers who were big Walker donors and bundlers for their reaction to the news. 

Marc Goldman of Boca Raton, Florida: “As the candidate who has proven his ability to make big changes, get things done in the face of intense opposition, and fix his state, the country is worse off without Walker as a candidate and as president. The good news is that we still have some excellent candidates, and a long way to go to get a nominee.”

Dr. Rich Roberts of Lakewood, New Jersey, to our own Jared Sichel: “Scott Walker is a brilliant, principled, altruistic politician who would have been a great president… His values are very much intact and aligned with Jewish values. Lastly, he understands the nature and thinking of foreign leaders and nations who would destroy America and Israel if they were able to — versus many American politicians who try to deceptively present our enemies in a preconceived politically-correct, but factually incorrect, manner. Scott Walker is a truly humble, G-d fearing, man.”

“I was surprised that Scott took a shot at Trump in his announcement to exit the presidential race. Blaming his exit on the need to coalesce against Trump, at a time when Scott’s numbers have fallen off of a cliff, seems possibly disingenuous from an otherwise highly principled and honest person. On the other hand, although not a Jewish perspective but more of an Evangelical belief, Scott believes that some of his inner thoughts are messages directly from G-d so it is possible that he is sincere in believing his stated reason for exiting now. At a luncheon in my home, in front of an Orthodox Jewish group who was not familiar with this Evangelical belief, he was questioned on it and my discomfort was relieved when the questioner did not follow up on Scott’s answer. This is Scott’s sincere belief.”

“I met with Scott and his wife Tonette privately at my home on August 31st. I told them that Scott had to “swing for the bleachers” at the next debate. He had to go for a grand slam or a strike out but playing it safe, or being mild mannered, would severely hurt him… On another topic, I told him about a major campaign management issue that he was having. Since I believe that he is a skillful manager, I thought that he might take action to rectify the deficiencies in his organization. He and Tonette thanked me for being straight forward with them, versus praising them, and that they would contact me again. I was not contacted and he did not adopt any of my suggestions.”

“After the second debate, I told my family and friends that if Scott could not carve out a place for himself in the two Republican debates then I was very concerned that Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden will overwhelm him in the presidential debates. It appears that Scott is too nice of a person for whom loud, angry interpersonal conflict is not within his arsenal of skills.”

Asked which candidate he will now endorse, Roberts told JI: “I am going to wait for a while. There are many excellent Republican candidates. I would be happy with any of them being president except for two. I will not name the two at this time.”

Phil Rosen, who has already endorsed Marco Rubio, told us: “Walker is an excellent Governor, leader and gentleman. I spent lots of time with him and like him a lot. I think he added a lot to the race with his intelligence, even-keel approach and strong moral principles. I look forward to working with and supporting him in his future endeavors. I look forward to my many friends who supported Governor Walker in this Presidential effort join me in helping Senator Rubio on his path to victory and returning greatness to the White House and the country.”

Speaking of Rubio… Harlan Crow to host a Rubio fundraiser tonight: “Location of the event is at the Crow’s historic home in the Dallas suburb of Highland Park, an affluent area that some observers consider one of the nation’s most enthusiastically Republican districts… Crow, an avid art collector, counts works by Renoir, Monet, and Adolf Hitler among his holdings.” [PoliticoFloridaPolitics]

Jewish Dems email… GOPers: Stop Hosting Events at Home with Hitler’s Art: While criticizing the current administration’s diplomatic efforts resulting in the Iran deal, Rubio will be raising money amidst busts of Lenin, Stalin, Goering, and not one— but two— paintings by Adolf Hitler… During this holiday season, American Jews gather for continued reflection—we hope Rubio takes a hint and reflects on his questionable political choices.” [NJDC]

LongRead: “Hitler at home: how the Nazi PR machine remade the Führer’s domestic image and duped the world” [TheConversation

Scene Yesterday: “Political machers flocked to Jonathan Tisch’s Loews Regency Hotel power breakfast on Monday morning as fundraising around town hits a fevered pitch. Chatting and chewing around the room were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, political strategists James Carville and Tonio Burgos, GOP fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Peter King.” [PageSix]

“Republican Donors “Recalibrate” As Trump Keeps His Lead And Establishment Candidates Struggle” by Rosie Gray, Tarini Parti, and McKay Coppins: “Everyone’s just kind of frozen right now,” said one Republican operative with ties to people in the donor class who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They’re waiting and seeing to wait and see if the other candidates compete against [Trump].” [BuzzFeed]

“Carson will not apologize for Muslim remark” by Nick Gass: “He was thinking like someone who loves America first, who wants to protect America. He understands that there are tenets of Islam that hates Jews, that kills homosexuals, will kill Muslims, do not advocate belief and value systems that made America into the country that it is today,” business manager and conservative radio host Armstrong Williams told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” [Politico]

Peter Beinart: “What if Trump or Carson Were Talking About Jews?” [Haaretz]

Trump = Samson? — by Peggy Noonan on the most recent debate: “Mr. Trump is famously preoccupied with his hair. He refers to it a lot, asking audience members at speeches to come up and see if it’s real, and inviting those behind him in the bleachers to attest to its real-like nature. I have wondered if he identifies with the Old Testament figure Samson, who believed all his might was connected to his long locks, and if he lost the latter he’d lose the former. I wondered if Mr. Trump’s rivals would give him a metaphorical haircut. They tried, but I think it was Mr. Trump who gave himself a trim.” [WSJ]

Pope’s Visit: “The pope visits Washington this week, presumably bringing the message of tolerance that he has espoused throughout his tenure, including in the face of extremism. The House was initially set to be out for the entire week because of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, but Speaker John A. Boehner readjusted the schedule to accommodate the pope and to make it possible for him to speak at the Capitol.” [FirstDraft]

Stephen Schwarzman: “The pope’s visit has prompted generosity elsewhere, said Cardinal Dolan. On Monday, Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP, donated $40 million to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for the archdiocese’s Catholic schools.” [WSJ]

Ben Greenberg: “I’m a rabbi. Here’s why Pope Francis inspires me” [PBS]

Interesting Read — Niche Media: “As papal visit nears, a Jesuit magazine sees an opportunity” by Dana Rubinstein [CapitalNY]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “David Gregory’s Public Discussion of His Private Faith” by Jeffrey Goldberg: “A conversation with the journalist about his search for closeness to God, and the future of American Jewry” [TheAtlantic]

INBOX: 53 National American Jewish Organizations Join in Declaration of Unity — Pre-Yom Kippur Declaration of Common Goals and Shared Objectives: “On the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, 53 national Jewish organizations joined in a recommitment to common principles and objectives, as well as to maintaining high standards of civil discourse in addressing those issues” said Stephen Greenberg and Malcolm Hoenlein. Greenberg and Hoenlein noted that there were numerous attempts in the media to portray the Jewish community as engaged in acrimonious debates and searing divisions. “In fact, what unites us far outweighs any differences.”

**Good Tuesday 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: “Why Barrack, Barry Sternlicht Joined Forces in U.S. Home-Rental Merger” [Bloomberg] • “Forest City sells Skylight Office Tower to Judah Hertz for $35.4 million” [Crains• “Cordish wins approval for $150M upscale hotel expansion of Maryland Live Casino” [BizJournals• “Weinstein brothers bargain for new contracts” [NYPost]

SCENE LAST NIGHT — by Laura Adkins in NYC: Around 40 activists and friends of the author gathered in the charming library of The Excelsior Hotel last night for a book launch party celebrating Seth M. Siegel’s Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World. Before the keynote address, guests discussed Walker’s “unexpected” termination of his presidential run, Obama’s foreign policy, the divisive nature of the Iran deal, and the difficulty of scoring a New York Times book review over a smattering of chummus, pita, crudités, and Israeli wine.

During his address, Siegel stressed that the book, which required over 200 interviews and took him just over two years to complete, wasn’t “written with a Yiddishe audience in mind.” He also discussed plans underway to translate the work into other languages and announced his recent appointment as a regular blogger to the Huffington Post on the subject of water issues. [Pic]

SPORTS BLINK: “Ron Shapiro: Cleveland always will be ‘very important’ to son” by Jonah Rosenblum: “As the Cleveland Indians enter what will likely be the final two weeks of their 2015 campaign, something even more difficult than not making the postseason awaits: saying farewell to Mark Shapiro. Cleveland’s Jewish community will have to say goodbye to one of its most respected names. In an interview with the Cleveland Jewish News, Mark’s father, Ron, said that the decision to leave Cleveland was a difficult one.” [CJN]

PROFILE: “The Fat Jew’s wife is a rising star for body positivity” [Mashable]

DESSERT: “Non-Observant Jews Try Kosher For A Week” by Jordan Imbrey and Allison Bagg: “We found six non-observant Jews who had never tried to follow Kosher rules and asked them to give it a shot.” [BuzzFeed]

Not The Onion: “Jewish woman makes her dogs fast with her on Yom Kippur” [NYPost]

Becca Soverinsky: “The 10 Stages of the Yom Kippur Fast, as Told by Amy Schumer” [SpoonUniversity]

Benji Lovitt: “Top 12 Yom Kippur Apologies” [ToI]

BIRTHDAYS: Isaac ‘Bougie’ Herzog turns 55… former NBA commissioner David Stern turns 73… Jared Sichel… Nathan Gilson (yesterday)…

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