But Rick Perry has been there for the Jews for some time. I wrote earlier about a mezuzah store in Texas that created a special, extra-large version named in honor of the governor for his work in passing a law preventing condo boards from banning the traditional doorway ornament. Of course, there is also the support he gets from his former gubernatorial rival and notableTexas Jew, Mr. Kinky Friedman. But I found this video to be instructional as well:
Rick Perry is authentic. Authentically uncomfortable, to be sure, dancing with the rabbis at the 5:00 minute mark. But he is honoring the Jewish tradition from within the Governor's office, a nice touch in a state so often tied closely with Christian conservatism.
Why did he go to such lengths, prior to his national election campaign? Certainly, one cannot call it pandering, as Perry in no way needs the "Jewish vote" to win in Texas. But - if I were to allow myself a guess - I would believe Perry is doing it because he understands that this country was built on Judeo-Christian values, and to dishonor one is to shame the other. It is a vision of how Perry would govern - trying to reach out, trying to understand, and thinking more of the whole than in dividing the parts and turning them against each other. In other words - he'll fulfill Obama's broken promise. Crazy, right?
Two final thoughts - Jen Rubin reports from an AJC survey:
The GOP contender who would do best against Obama with Jewish voters is Mitt Romney, who gets 32 percent of the vote in the survey and drags Obama down to 50 percent (from his 78 percent in 2008). Texas Gov. Rick Perry got 25 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) got 19 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got 26 percent.
25% isn't a terrible starting place; I believe that number has serious upside. Especially if American Jews ask themselves the important questions:
It comes down to this: do you prefer a president who doesn't believe in evolution, or do you prefer a president that doesn't believe in Israel?
Need a Jewish celebrity endorsement? We can provide that as well:
KISS bassist Gene Simmons declared on Twitter that he's team Rick Perry.
Last year the metal man said he regretted voting for Obama and called him “unqualified.” Now, he’s ready to rock our for the Texas gov. “I voted for Pres Bush. I voted for Pres Clinton. I voted for Pres Obama. The next president will be Gov Rick Perry,” he tweeted on Tuesday. He followed it up with “Gov Perry worked for Al Gore and then switched to Republican. He will be our next President. I've never been wrong.”