I may be the only political observer out there who feels more comfortable talking about Black political thought and theology than "mainstream" White conservative evangelical Christianity. So while I feel pretty good giving context to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, I don't have the requisite background to know if there's any reason not to take Sarah Palin's pastor at face-value. Because while Rev. Wright certainly had some guests who weren't as Jew-philic as I would have liked, I don't think any of his mates thought that Jewish deaths represented the just judgment of God. (And with Rev. Hagee still lurking in the background of my memory, isn't this the second time we've had to deal with this issue?). She's already been dealing with the allegation that she was a Pat Buchanan supporter (David Bernstein has mostly convinced me that she was not, but at the same time I think Harry's Place is not being entirely off-base when it wonders if Palin would have sported a David Duke button had he dropped by town. After all, most Jews think, at best, the difference between the two is one of degree, not kind.). The info about her pastor will only inflame the situation (to be fair, he seems across-the-board crazy, rather than focusing solely on Jews).
Now, here's the problem: Palin's new emergence on the political scene means that she's a totally unknown quantity to Jews. With Barack Obama, he did in fact have a long pedigree dealing with Jews and Whites -- we had data points on him personally which demonstrated he wasn't going to launch on an anti-White and anti-Semitic crusade once in office. And he has also done an excellent outreach job to us as a community, something I am very grateful of. Meanwhile, Palin is being tied to possibly the most reviled organization in the Jewish community that isn't actively launching suicide attacks on us -- Jews for Jesus. It's possible she does not subscribe to their creed, and maybe we should give her the benefit of the doubt. But unlike Barack Obama, she just hasn't spent much time courting Jews on a national stage. I don't think we're unreasonable to ask for some heart-to-hearts -- particularly given that she comes from a community (evangelical Christianity) that has not always been the most respectful or friendly to Jews in the past (being apocalyptically pro-Israel doesn't get you as far as one might think).
My presumption on Palin is that her views on Jews are standard evangelical fare -- outward positivity (enemy of my enemy -- Islam -- is my friend) and some personal respect, mixed with a desire for our social extermination (via conversion) and very little grasp or concern with the issues that actually are important to Jews (or why, or how, they're important to us). Fortunately, this means my bar is not being set high -- it would not take much for her to dispel those sentiments. At which point, I would happily oppose her on pure political grounds. I'm not going to pretend that by assuaging the concerns of the Jewish community she's going to get my vote. She won't. But I greatly prefer opposing someone because I disagree with their policy stances than because I think they're actively or covertly hostile to me as a person.