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Democrats restore God, Jerusalem to platform

To boos and “nays” — and much furor on the convention floor — two previously omitted elements are included, after President Obama intervenes.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Under fire in the press, from Republicans and from within their own ranks, nervous Democrats on the convention floor voted late Wednesday afternoon for three amendments restoring to their platform an endorsement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a reference to God. Both items were missing from the original document that was approved earlier by the Platform Committee and the full convention.

‚??It was a stupid mistake (to omit), but we corrected it,‚?Ě House Minority Whip Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Human Events shortly after addressing the convention this evening.

‚??Tragic‚?Ě and ‚??peculiar‚?Ě is how Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan characterized the omissions of Jerusalem and God respectively. With numerous national news outlets (including Human Events) highlighting the omissions earlier Wednesday, a number of Democratic leaders grew upset and let their feelings be known. A few of them spoke to us about what was called in convention floor shorthand ‚??the platform problem.”

‚??I was very critical of the original version,‚?Ě Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) told us. ‚??It didn‚??t reflect what is widely felt by Democrats. I let my feelings be known, and I felt it was important to clarify what have long been standing positions in our platform.‚?Ě

The senator said he did not know why Jerusalem and God were omitted in the document that came out of the Platform Committee, but with their restoration, he said, ‚??we can run a campaign based on the president‚??s record on job growth and inclusion and end the possibility of distraction.‚?Ě

One of the first senators to endorse colleague Obama in 2008, Casey would not say whether he made his feelings known to the president. But, numerous sources in Charlotte said upon learning of the division over the platform and Republican anger, Mr. Obama insisted they be restored.

‚??My understanding is that the president asked that the platform be changed and the convention went along with this,‚?Ě former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard told Human Events.

Many of the Democrats who made their pique known about the platform omissions were reluctant to discuss the controversy and wanted to move on. One of them, Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, said ‚??it was important that (the changes in the language) of the platform occur. It‚??s the clearest, I think, that we have been so far on Jerusalem.‚?Ě

As to why the Jerusalem language was omitted during the platform hearings, Levin replied: ‚??I wasn‚??t there.‚?Ě

When we asked if failure to restore that language and the reference to God would have hurt the Democrats with voters if not corrected, he simply replied: ‚??I didn‚??t say that.‚?Ě

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ‚??the man who knows everyone in Washington‚?Ě and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what‚??s going on in the nation‚??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ‚??Gizzi on Politics‚?Ě and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ‚??Gizzi‚??s America,‚?Ě video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John‚??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com