Thursday, October 19, 2006

Orthodox congressional candidates bring Jewish text study techniques to campaigning

Given the vagaries of gerrymandering, somewhere over the years there might have been congressional candidates from separate districts who lived on the same street.

It's unlikely, though, that the two candidates also belonged to the same Orthodox synagogue, and ran a campaign platform originating with divrei Torah they delivered at shul.

But, that is just what is happening in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

The candidates are Jeff Stein and Moshe Starkman. They live on opposite sides of the congressional district dividing line of Arctic Avenue in Rockville, and they are the Republican candidates for U.S. Congress in Maryland's 8th and 4th Districts, respectively, facing Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Albert Wynn (D).

They're each serving as the other's campaign managers and are willing to admit ‹ with a little prodding ‹ that they are big underdogs in their heavily Democratic districts.

But they also are bringing a different style and sensibility to the political discourse, creating campaigns that eschew bullet points and sound bites for techniques based on the tradition of Jewish text study.

Stein's campaign literature and the front page of his Web don't include the typical photos of the candidate shaking hands or kissing babies. The only pictures are of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and other founding fathers, former presidents and Supreme Court justices, accompanied by quotes on various issues such as government regulation, property rights and education.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog