Jews have been overrepresented in US Government for quite awhile. For instance, currently 15% of Senators are Jewish versus 2% in the general population. Who has the best chance of being the first Jewish President?
In the past few years several leading contenders have had small setbacks, some have had career ending ones.
A couple years ago I would have had Elliott Spitzer high on the list but I think we all know how his fortunes have turned.
Following his rise to prominence in the late 90s, Senator Lieberman was another candidate but his mangling of Iraq resulted in a terrible political response in CT where he couldn’t even win the Democratic Primary.
Governor Rendell is a two-term Governor from a big swing state. He is now about 65 and couldn’t run until 2016. By then he’d be older than McCain was this past run. More vital for sure, but probably has aged out.
Though I’d love to vote for him, I suspect Senator Feingold is too far left.
Though not a pretty man, Senator Schumer is one of the few yidden whose presidential stock has risen since the early 90s. He is associated with Wall Street, from New York City, and it’s easy to see how the religious right might use xenophobic attacks to marginalize him. I suspect they will say he is too “New York” to connect with “real” Americans. Everyone will know exactly what they are saying without them saying it.
Also of note, is Rahm Emmanuel. He’s been successful as a political operative and also as an elected official. If the Obama years are good, could he run on that?
There is only one Jewish candidate I can imagine becoming a serious candidate in 2012 (though this is unlikely). That man is none other than George Allen.*
Who do you guys think is the most likely person currently alive to be the first Jewish President (of the US)?
*Though many would consider Allen a Jew, including anyone applying Orthodox Halachic standards, I tend towards the Recon standard and wouldn’t consider him a Jew. Here is some more nuance.