Budding Democratic Politician?
T ordana Hoffman, 11, would love to vote in this
IP year's presidential election. She's a Kerry kid all the
She's gotten so energized by this election that she
created her own lawn sign in pastel crayon, with some
assistance from her brother Jonah, 10. The message is
that Sen. Kerry is the right choice, while President
Bush is obviously the wrong choice.
"I don't like Bush, but I do like Texas," she said. "I
was born there."
Hoffman, a sixth-grader, did get to cast her vote for
Kerry — in a mock election at Warner Middle School
in Farmington Hills, where Kerry won by a landslide.
And, after watching part of one of the presidential
debates, she voted online for Kerry as the winner.
Though young, Hoffman is into the issues.
"It's the war really," she said. "The war in Iraq is com-
pletely the wrong thing to do. We went to war, and
Bush said he'd make a plan and be organized for peace.
Well, he went in with a plan for war and not for peace.
"Bush also says "`No Child Left Behind,' but there are
lots of kids not getting an education."
Would Hoffman like to run for office when she gets
"Yeah, I'd run as governor so I could help the whole
state," she said, after some thought. "I want to help
the economy, to help people with no jobs get jobs."
Her father, Frank Hoffman, enjoys listening to his
daughter expound on the election and issues.
"I like that she has strong opiniOns," he said.
Her mother, Jacqueline Fox, claims credit for some
of Jordana's spunk. Fox admits to being fairly outspo-
ken about politics herself
"The election comes up while we're listening to the
radio in the car, and we'll talk about it," Fo-x said. "We
talk about what the candidates want to do with the
country — good or bad. She's pretty vocal."
Jordana says her parents influenced her to be a
Democrat — a little.
"There are four quarters in a dollar," she said. "They
did one quarter. I did the other three."
— Keri Guten Cohen, story development editor
Right: Jordana Hoffinan, 11, of Farmington Hills with
her homemade poster supporting Sen. John Kerry.
Russians For Bush
amara Friedman supports President Bush so
strongly she feels it in her fingertips. In fact, for
months she has had a pro-Bush message painted on
her finely manicured nails. It's a conversation starter
that allows her to push for Bush.
"It is critical for the security of our country and
Israel that President Bush is re-elected," she says.
Friedman has an American flag hanging in the entry-
way of her business, the Tamara Spa in Farmington
Hills. She came to the United States 30 years ago from
Lvov in the Ukraine, and her support for Bush is based
on her personal experiences.
"All of my grandparents and all of my father's family
died in a concentration camp in Poland," she says.
"We were persecuted all the time in Russia. Because I
lived in a socialist country, I know what it is all about.
I know what we face. I know about evil. I think the
Democrats live in a dream, God bless them. If they
understood things better they would support Bush."
For Friedman, Bush's support for Israel is key.
"I am very supportive of Israel. I have a lot of
friends there and I know the situation. Whatever
Israel does these days, the world condemns them.
America must strongly support Israel, and I consider
Bush to be one of the best presidents for Israel."
Friedman, who lives in Birmingham, has been
politically involved before but has never been as active
as she is now She has appeared on a locally produced
Russian-language television show and has joined with
others to register Russian-born American citizens to
register to vote for the first time.
"A lot of people from Russia don't give me a hard
Tamara Friedman advocates for President Bush.
time when I ask them to support. Bush," she says. "But
many Jews from here are different. They take things for
granted. I know that America is the best country and
what we do is important for Israel and for the world."
— Don Cohen, special writer
Novice Campaign Worker
ran Gold of Bloomfield Hills has always been active
in the Jewish community, but not politically active
until after the debates last month.
"I'm very concerned about who will appoint the next
two to four Supreme Court justices, whose opening may
very well arise. I don't want to see a right-wing landscape,"
She walked into a Kerry campaign office in Farmington
Hills and signed her name on the volunteer list and
offered to help.
Since then, she's been busy distributing information on
Kerry's record at various activities, making phone calls and
urging others to help.
"I got the sense that a lot of Jewish people didn't know
that Kerry had a good voting record on Israel. I perceived
this as being a real issue among Jewish voters, that they
wanted somebody who was strong on Israel," she said.
Her husband and two grown children also have been
"I've never done anything like this before — if I can do
this, anybody can c:lo this," she said. "It's very important
for people to get out and show their support."
Volunteer Fran Gold of Bloomfield Hills works the
phones at a Kerry campaign office in West
— Harry Kirsbaum, staffwriter Bloomfield.