Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-PA13) tries to buck up Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz after heckling at a Jewish Americans for Obama rally in Elkins Park, Pa.
A thousand-plus packed the auditorium, last night, July 16, at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Pa. for a rally sponsored by Jewish Americans for Obama. While the crowd may have been almost all Jewish not all of them were for Obama and things at times got contentious with shouting matches breaking out in the audience.
The headline speaker was Democrat National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who represents Florida's 20th District in Congress. Unexpected heckling to her claims that the President was a strong supporter of Israel visibly upset and flustered her.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz made her appearance quite late and this appeared to force the other speakers to go on longer than they had expected.
Daylin Leach, who represents the 17th District in the state senate, told the crowd that the Republican Party was full of anti-Semitism. He said, without irony in front of the synagogue's podium that the Republicans are theocrats who don't believe in separation of church and state, all the while describing the importance of his Jewish values. He, as did most of the speakers, reiterated the GOP's opposition to abortion as a reason they must not be allowed to have the presidency back. When he spoke dismissively that Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia would be opposed by those with Jewish family values, he was rebutted from the audience with a cry of "not true" stopping him cold.
Montgomery County Commissioner Chairman Josh Shapiro followed Leach and described his personal experiences with President Obama starting in 2006 when he was tasked with organizing a last minute rally for Democrats in the state which featured Obama as the speaker. He brought his family. While warming up the crowd he was told to extend his remarks as the then senator was not ready. He later found that the reason for the delay was that Obama had to take Shapiro's one daughter to the potty as his wife was tied up nursing their newborn.
An experience to remember.
State Treasurer Rob McCord followed. McCord grew up in Lower Merion. He noted that he too is Jewish despite the name and shared some anecdotes regarding it. He described the anti-semitism that his family faced in Arizona, where he lived as a young boy before moving to Pennsylvania, when it became known that they were Jewish.
Congresswomen Allyson Schwartz (D-PA13) introduced Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Much of the crowd did not stay for the questions which was just as well as all the answers were either Mitt Romney is bad or Obama loves Israel.
Also taking the podium was Montgomery County Democrat Committee Chair Marcel Groen.
Buttons saying "Stop the Abington Hospital Merger" concerning the proposed merger with Holy Redeemer Hospital, a Catholic institution, were distributed before the event and worn by many in the audience. A merger would require Abington to stop performing abortions.
Rabbi Lance Sussman said the Congregation will offer the Republican Party an equal opportunity to hold a rally featuring nationally known speakers.