2012 Election: A Pundit’s Perspective

Nationally Syndicated Talk Show Host Michael Medved Discusses the Race for the White House

As the 2012 presidential race kicks into high gear, nationally-acclaimed conservative talk show host, film critic and political commentator Michael Medved shared his insights and predictions about election outcomes with Yeshiva University students on April 18.

Michael Medved speaks to YU students at a Republican Club event on April 18.

Medved, a Sabbath-observant host of the nationally syndicated The Michael Medved Show, speculated about Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy and a potentially unprecedented outcome of the election. Medved also discussed factors he felt affected the Jewish vote and reflected on his first experiences in politics, as a student working for Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign during his junior year at Yale University.

“Every election, without exception, we’re told this is the most important and critical election of your lifetime,” said Medved. “They say that to get you to vote. But this election truly is exciting and unpredictable.”

According to Medved, Romney could potentially win the Electoral College, but there is a chance for a crushing win of the popular vote by incumbent President Barack Obama—a situation Medved said had not arisen in American politics since the 1876 presidential race between Samuel J. Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes. He outlined as well the strategy he felt could regain the White House for Republicans: conservative substance, moderate tone.

“Most people, when they vote, don’t vote for someone who inspires them, but against something they fear,” Medved said. “The Republicans need Romney to inspire and incite conservatives without scaring away moderates and people in the middle.”

The talk was hosted by the YU Republican Club and also featured a question-and-answer session, during which students and members of the public sought Medved’s take on everything from Romney’s best pick as running mate (“Senator Rob Portman is likely, but dull and safe. I like New Mexico Governor Suzanne Martinez for the job.”) to the possibility of a third party splitting the vote.

“Because Mr. Medved is both an observant Jew with a personal connection to the YU community and an influential political commentator, we felt he has an interesting perspective on the upcoming presidential election,” said Eitan Polster ’13YC, vice president of YU Republican Club. “His incredible success on the radio makes him a highly sought-after speaker and we were honored to host him to speak to us.  We felt that his ability to relate to millions of listeners on a daily basis gives him the unique ability to engage and captivate a diverse YU audience from all sections of the political spectrum.”

That was certainly true for Holly Hampton, a junior majoring in history at Stern College for Women, who described herself as a longtime Medved listener who first heard him on The Dennis Prager Show. “I really learned a lot about the upcoming election and it was interesting to hear his view of the Republican candidate and party,” she said.

For Medved, whose daughter Sarah is a graduate of Stern College and YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, the opportunity to speak at YU also offered a chance to connect with students who were passionate about and invested in their future as American citizens and Orthodox Jews. “I’ve always been impressed by the bright and refined young people I’ve met here,” said Medved. “YU is a resource of talent within the Jewish community.”

Learn more about the 2012 presidential election from leading political experts at the Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence program on April 30.


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