Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) may or may not make history as the first self-described democratic socialist to win a major party's nomination, but he already notched a famous first on Tuesday night, becoming the first Jewish candidate — and the first non-Christian — to win a presidential primary. Sanders has been projected to easily beat Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire's Democratic primary, just nine days after coming in a close second in the Iowa caucuses (where Sanders was the first Jewish candidate to win delegates in a presidential primary, something Joe Lieberman never achieved).
And those aren't the first bits of history made in this unusual presidential race, just two contests into the election.
4 caucus/primary winners so far: first Latino winner (Cruz), first female winner (Clinton), first Jewish/non-Christian winner (Sanders)
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 10, 2016
American Jews were thrilled with Lieberman's shot at the vice presidency in 2000 and presidential run four years later, but is there any "hoopla over a Jewish challenger holding a strong lead in the New Hampshire polls"? asks Ami Eden at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "Nope. Bubkes." And he has some theories why:
Since Lieberman's dance on the national stage an African American was elected president, a Mormon won the Republican nomination, and a woman is widely viewed as the favorite to win in 2016. Suddenly the whole first-Jewish-president thing seems like a yawner. There is also the fact that Lieberman wore his Judaism like a yarmulke. He proudly put his faith front and center while embracing the role of religious trailblazer and Jewish role model. Sanders, not so much. [JTA]
Still, history is history. Congratulations, Sanders. Peter Weber