Wyman: I Can’t Scale That Wall

Allan Appel PhotoNancy Wyman hopes to visit her kids if Donald Trump becomes president — but isn’t sure how she’ll hoist herself over that border wall.

The Democratic lieutenant governor made that quip Monday night during a one-night stand as “Jew of the Week” on a local recording of a national radio program called “Unorthodox,” and helmed by Westville-based journalist Mark Oppenheimer.

The recording took place before 75 fans in the Jewish Community Center’s Vine Auditorium. She appeared alongside “Guest Gentile” (and NPR radio host) Colin McEnroe.

Oppenheimer and his two co-hosts mix it up every week with guests in an irreverent intellectually potent variety show that riffs on Garrison Keillor’s template. Call it Shtetl Home Companion.

Monday night’s rollicking 80-minute recording will be edited down to about half that and broadcast this Thursday. It featured Oppenheimer’s co-host Liel Liebowitz, whose shtick is carrying the more conservative opinions on Jewish matters; and the more measured and homey remarks of the third co-host, Stephanie Butnick. She opined about her Cat, named Cat Stevens after the pop singer who has become a Muslim. Oppenheimer corralled all the irreverence into shape.

We want audience participation, Oppenheimer egged on the friendly audience. But he told them not to shout out “Hallelujah!” because it’s not Jewish, sort of, he said.

Jews say “Hallelujah” all the time, retorted McEnroe.

With 50 days left in the national presidential contest, Oppenheimer and company directed questions to Wyman, the ranking Jewish political figure and friend of Hillary Clinton on stage.

With Donald Trump’s rallies looking to Jewish eyes like fascist gatherings, how can Jews vote for Trump? Oppenheimer asked. He noted that 15 to 20 percent of the tribe are indeed expected to do exactly that.

“I don’t know,” Wyman opined. She said one of her grandkids suggested if Trump is elected, the family might move to Canada. Another grandkid chimed in that Mexico is also a possibility for Wyman exiles.

Grandma might not be able to make it over the wall, Wyman reported.

Wyman concluded on a serious note. She predicted Hillary will prevail: “But I am scared of Trump, especially when he gets angry. He snaps too fast for me.”

“Why is this political season so bizarre? What’s your diagnosis?” Oppenheimer asked.

“People are unhappy. The other party wasn’t ready for him,” Wyman responded. “I just hope this country listens to this next 50 days and says this is a better country [than Trump’s depictions], and we can’t have him.”

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