Helen Thomas, Karl Rove, Gaza and Jewish Republicans

I always got basically the same response -- a cynical shrug that signaled the old Yiddish expression "Vat den?" ('twas ever thus).

But not last night.  Almost uniformly the attendees to whom I asked this question responded differently.  Yes, they said, things were changing.  Their mishpocheh -- in the smaller and larger senses -- were listening to them, not getting angry or walking away. Sometimes they just remained silent, but it was a thoughtful, worried silence. From what I could tell at the Beverly Hilton last night,  the polls showing Jews deserting Obama were evidently not entirely apocryphal.

Most surprising to me were some words I exchanged with Rep. Dan Lederman of the South Dakota House of Representatives. (I didn't even know there were Jews in South Dakota.)  Lederman told me of  his recently making a speech strongly attacking Obama policies to an audience of seventy or so B'nai B'rith members in his neighboring Nebraska and not getting a peep of objection.  This would have been unheard of a year ago.  Cue Bob Dylan -- or should I say Zimmerman -- and change, change you, or at least I, can believe in.

So I went home last night with a partial sense of optimism. (Alas, the Lakers lost.) I had an autographed copy of Rove's new book Courage and Consequence under my arm and cracked it open in order to  distract myself from the Lakers defeat.  So far it's a riveting read -- not what you would expect.  More on that later.  For now, watch for my interview with the political guru on PJTV.

Update: My interview with Rove is now online at PJTV; click here to watch.