On their respective websites, both the president and Senator Ted Cruz issued official statements in honor of Hanukkah. David Bernstein suggests the two statements reveal much about their senders:
President Obama’s Hanukkah is universalist, about a “struggle for justice.” There is no mention of God. Cruz’s Hanukkah . . . is about the Jewish people, with God’s help, winning the right to worship against an oppressive dictatorship. . . .
The lesson from Obama’s Hanukkah is that Americans should advocate “the fundamental dignity of every human being.” Jews as such are incidental to the holiday, as is religious freedom. Cruz’s Hanukkah lesson is that Jews must be protected from their modern enemies.