The hot button is to debate such “corrosive” matters in a way that resonates with a broad audience, said the veteran Democratic strategist David Axelrod. He noted that former President Barack Obama positioned himself as each proudly of the Black community, and a president for all.
“Josh Shapiro isn’t running to be the Jewish governor of Pennsylvania, he’s running to be the governor of Pennsylvania,” Mr. Axelrod said. “Your job, as prospective leader of a state, is to talk to it in a bigger context.”
To that end, Mr. Shapiro portrays Mr. Mastriano’s antisemitic associations as evidence that he’s dangerously extremist, with a governing vision that excludes many Pennsylvanians, an argument he has amplified in ads. (In the course of the primary, Mr. Shapiro also ran an ad that appeared to raise Mr. Mastriano, a move he has defended.)
“There is no such thing as a query that he’s courting antisemites and white supremacists and racists actively in his campaign,” Mr. Shapiro said in an interview, though he stopped wanting calling his opponent an antisemite.
He said that Mr. Mastriano “draws on his view of faith” to press policies that might have significant consequences for others, citing Mr. Mastriano’s blanket opposition to abortion rights, as an example.
“Unless you think that like him, unless you vote like him, unless you worship like him or marry like him, you then don’t count in his Pennsylvania,” Mr. Shapiro said last week. “I would like to be a governor for all 13 million Pennsylvanians.”
At the identical time, Mr. Shapiro’s Jewish identity is a defining aspect of his public persona.
His first television ad this 12 months featured him at Sabbath dinner together with his family, challah on the table and a hamsa — a hand-shaped symbol often seen within the Middle East, including in Israel — on the wall.