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October 30, 2008

Will Obama-PLO questions make Cardin's job harder?

Sen. Ben Cardin is making his final surrogate appearance on behalf of Barack Obama tonight, debating the Republican governor of Hawaii at a synagogue in the swing state of Ohio.

Cardin's assignment -- convincing Jewish voters to support Obama -- is growing more challenging, however.

The McCain campaign has stepped up its efforts to try to portray Obama as a friend of terrorists, and is now linking him to the PLO. It is a line of argument that could emperil Obama's support among Jewish voters.

Weeks after 1960s radical William Ayers of the Weather Underground was proclaimed by McCain allies to be an Obama "pal," the campaign is now pushing an association between Obama and Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian scholar who McCain says was once a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, though Khalidi has reportedly denied it.

The McCain campaign is pushing the Los Angeles Times (which, like the Baltimore Sun, is owned by Tribune Co.) to release a videotape of Obama at a dinner with Khalidi in 2003. The dinner was held as Khalidi was leaving Chicago for a job in New York. The tape was given to the paper on grounds that it not be distributed, an agreement the paper agreed to when it produced this article.

Many Jews harbor distrust of Obama, stemming in large part from viral e-mail messages that falsely claim he is a Muslim and does not support Israel.

Cardin, a prominent Jewish leader who has stumped for Obama in Florida and elsewhere, has no hesitatancy about Obama's commitment.

"Senator Obama is a long-time friend to both the Jewish community in this country and to our ally Israel," Cardin said in a release announcing his debate with Gov. Linda Lingle at Park Synagogue Main in Cleveland Heights. "I look forward to discussing with the community why Sen. Obama is the right man at the right point in history to be President of the United States."

The questions from Jewish voters in Ohio, however, could prove challenging.

Posted by David Nitkin at 2:19 PM | | Comments (2)


This another ridiculous attempt by the Republicans to discredit Obama. Rather than provide details of their programs or qualifications, they resort to smears, innuendo, and outright lies. These are the tactics of the desperate. next they'll say Obama is the iligitimate son of Yasir Arafat!
Please- give us credit for more intelligence than that.

How ludicrous, Diogenes.

It is well known that Arafat was not his father.

It seems you are receiving the credit you are due, just what you asked for.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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