The Jewish Vote

This could give Bush an edge:

Stuart Weil, a ponytailed tropical fish farmer from Fresno, is a longtime Democrat who regularly attends synagogue. Four years ago, he voted for Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. This year, not only does he plan to vote for President Bush, he’s urging his Jewish friends to do the same.

“He is the first president to understand the world in terms of terrorism,” said Weil, 51, one of more than 4,000 delegates this week at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the nation’s preeminent pro-Israel lobby.

“He understands that the terrorism Israel has had is now the terrorism the U.S. has.”

On Tuesday, Weil and thousands of other AIPAC members welcomed Bush to their annual meeting with 21 standing ovations — a thunderous display of affection from an audience that, while always hawkish on Israel, had long been a home to more Democrats than Republicans.

The Republican president’s reelection strategists have long hoped that White House policies that focus on fighting terror and spreading democracy through the Mideast would make longtime Jewish Democrats like Weil into Republican voters.

I guess now we can expect to hear a lot more about this guy.