The Great Schlep: Jews told to make Florida grandparents to vote for Barack Obama

In one of the US presidential election’s more unorthodox campaign initiatives, young Jewish Democrats are being urged to fly to Florida to persuade their grandparents to vote for Barack Obama.

By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 11:33PM BST 30 Sep 2008

Sarah Silverman urges ‘schlepees’ to point out to their grandparents how similar they are to young black men such as Mr Obama

The so-called Great Schlep appeal has been delivered in an equally irregular form – an irreverent video made by the Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman .

Silverman, whose foul-mouthed reputation is in evidence in the video, urges “schlepees” to point out to their grandparents how similar they are to young black men such as Mr Obama.

They both like tracksuits, Cadillacs and “bling, money and jewellery”, and “all their friends are dying”, she says, sitting on a sofa between a Jewish grandmother and an increasingly uncomfortable-looking black man.

“You don’t have to use facts – use threats,” she adds. “There’s nobody more important or influential over grandparents than their grandkids.”

“If they vote for Barack Obama, they’re going to get another visit this year. If not, let’s just hope they stay healthy until next year.”

Despite the light-hearted tone, the appeal – which is financed by the Jewish Council of Education & Research – is deadly serious.

Florida is seen as one of about 10 closely-contested states and has a large Jewish population, much of it made up of retirees from New York.

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