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October 23, 1992 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-23

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almost certainly be tapped for a higher for-
eign policy post.
One of the most influential Jews in the
current administration is also one of the
least visible.
William Kristol, who once served as chief
of staff to former Education Secretary
William Bennett, is now the top aide to Vice
President Dan Quayle. Mr. Kristol, accord-
ing to sources, is the administration's top li-
aison to the hard-core conservative
community, a group that is essential to Mr.
Bush's reelection strategy. More impor-
tantly, Mr. Kristol has emerged as one of
the shrewdest and most sophisticated play-
ers in Washington.
If there is a second Bush administration,
Mr. Kristol is likely to take on a more visi-
ble and important role at the White House.
Former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who was
defeated by Democrat Paul Wellstone in
1990, has always enjoyed a close relation-
ship with George Bush, his ideological soul-
mate.
Mr. Boschwitz served as the president's
personal emissary in the delicate negotia-
tions that resulted in the release of Ethiopi-
Eli Segal, chief of staff, was George McGovern's assistant campaign ma nager.
an Jews last year. The former legislator is
his client roster is lengthy. Among the notables are ardently pro-Israel, but he is also committed to pro-
the Sierra Club, Common Cause, Public Citizen and moting free-market economic reform in Israel, a per-
spective that pleases the president.
the Michigan Education Association.
Last month, when Bush-Quayle strategists became
concerned about winning Jewish votes in a few key
states, the president personally requested Mr.
Boschwitz's assistance. In recent weeks, the former
senator, a co-chair of the overall Bush-Quayle cam-
resident Bush's closest circle of advisers draws paign, has been stumping energetically for the GOP
mostly from his coterie of wealthy Texas ticket. If Mr. Bush is reelected, there is widespread
friends — like White House Chief of Staff speculation that he could be in for a top spot in a sec-
James Baker — and from the Eastern WASP ond Bush administration — in all likelihood, a cabinet
establishment. But there are a few Jews who
position.
have good access to the president, and some of these
Few Jewish community activists have ready access
could have an impact on a second Bush administra- to Mr. Bush. But one who does is Gordie Zacks; his
tion.
ties to George Bush go back to the late 1970s. Mr. Za-
With Mr. Baker now directing the reelection effort, cks is chairman of the RG Barry Corporation in
the top officials hovering in Mr. Baker's foreign poli- Columbus, Ohio, and is a former vice president of the
cy orbit are poised to take on more important roles American Jewish Committee.
should Mr. Bush win. The most prominent Jewish fig-
Other big names backing Mr. Bush are Jacob Stein,
ure in this group is Dennis Ross, who headed the Bush a New Yorker who served as chairman of the Con-
foreign policy transition team after the 1988 election. ference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations
Later, he served as Mr. Baker's chief of policy plan- and as Jewish liaison for the Reagan White House;
ning at the State Department.
Max Fisher, a Detroit industrialist equally connect-
Mr. Ross, according to veteran State Department ed to Jewish causes; and George Klein, a former vice
observers, was the department's leading "conceptu- president of the Jewish Community Relations Coun-
ali zee' — the man who provided the broad vision that cil of New York.
led to the Middle East peace talks. When Mr. Baker
When President Bush sought to express his "an-
left the State Department to take over the president's guish" over the pain caused in the Jewish communi-
faltering campaign, Mr. Ross followed.
ty by his 1991 news conference at which he blasted
Mr. Ross, who generally enjoys good ties to the or- pro-Israel forces, he wrote a letter to Mr. Klein.
ganized Jewish world, is an influential player in the
Mr. Fisher currently serves as honorary financial
administration, and if Mr. Bush is reelected he would

THE BUSH GANG

p

co-chair of the campaign. He has longstanding ties to
the campaign's general chairman, former Commerce
Secretary Robert Mosbacher. During the Nixon ad-
ministration, Mr. Fisher and Fred Malek, the Bush-
Quayle campaign manager, had adjoining offices in
the White House.
But all three are one-issue advisers to the presi-
dent; Mr. Bush has turned to them on questions re-
lating to the Jewish community, but generally not on
broader policy questions, according to sources.
On an operational level, the key Jewish figure on
the Bush-Quayle reelection team is A. Mark Neuman.
Mr. Neuman, who played an active role in the last
Bush campaign, now coordinates the Bush-Quayle
"coalitions" team — the part of the campaign that tar-
gets specific minority and interest groups, including
the Jewish community.
Mr. Neuman is a former deputy director of the Na-
tional Jewish Coalition, the central organization for
Jewish Republicans. More recently, he served as di-
rector of congressional affairs for the Census Bureau.
Marshall Breger, now solicitor general of the La-
bor Department, also has good access to the White
House inner circle. Mr. Breger served as special as-
sistant for public liaison to President Reagan, with
special responsibility for relations with the Jewish
community.

PEROT'S POSSE

exas billionaire Ross Perot has run an un-
conventional campaign and unlike the
other candidates he has not developed a
broad cadre of advisers. And since his fo-
cus has been almost entirely domestic, Mr.
Perot has not built a serious foreign policy team. The
result has been a muted Jewish voice in the Perot
campaign.
Mr. Perot's most visible Jewish backer is longtime
business associate and friend Morton Meyerson, a
Texas businessman and philanthropist who joined
Mr. Perot's Electronic Data Systems Corporation in
1966.
Before Mr. Perot stunned his supporters by pulling
out of the race in July, Mr. Meyerson was the candi-
date's primary spokesman in the Jewish community.
Since Mr. Perot's reentry into the race, Mr. Meyerson
has played a somewhat less visible role, but remains
the closest thing Mr. Perot has to a confidante — and
he dearly identifies with the Jewish community.
Before he dropped out in July, Mr. Perot had won
a handful of converts from the Jewish community —
including journalist Marilyn Berger, who was slat-
ed to head up his Middle East advisory team, and
political scientist Amos Perlmutter. But few have re-
turned to support his recycled candidacy.

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