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Iran Report, Gaffe Provide GOP Opening

Candidates continue to hit Obama, and he isn’t making it any harder

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President Obama yesterday.(Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican candidates continue to find Israel-Iran the most favorable foreign policy battlefield as they look ahead to next year’s general election. Gov. Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Rep. Michele Bachmann have all used this week’s report on Iran’s nuclear progress to hammer President Obama’s alleged softness on the issue, and you can expect frontrunner Mitt Romney to continue his attacks along a similar theme. “The focus reflects not only competition to be regarded as the strongest ally of Israel,” according to the Times, “but also a sense that projecting toughness on Iran may offer one of the few political openings on foreign policy that Republicans can use.” Yeah.

And as if they did not have enough ammunition, you have an open-mike moment yesterday, in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy was overheard confiding in Obama (who is in Paris), of Prime Minister Netanyahu: “I cannot stand him. He is a liar.” To which Obama reportedly replied: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!” That Obama finds Bibi frustrating is about as newsworthy as the fact that the subway took too long and was too crowded this morning on my way to work. But it still serves to (further) confirm the impression that Obama and Bibi have a bad personal relationship and that, under their leadership, their countries have experienced a weakened one (surely U.S. ambassador Dan Shapiro was protesting a bit much when he insisted yesterday that the “special relationship” is “stronger than ever before”); and with just a little imagination, you could call this Obama’s fault.

At this point, the list of alleged personal slights at Bibi—the missed photo-op, the 45-minute Hillary Clinton phone call, the “‘67 borders’ surprise, and on and on—is long enough that this is just another drop in the bath. But it’s what we’re talking about today instead of, say, how Obama may very well be completely committed to preventing Iran from getting the bomb, even if it means the use of U.S. military force (such is Jeffrey Goldberg’s argument in his latest column). Which means it’s a good day for the GOP.

GOP Field Attacks Obama Foreign Policy With Tough Talk on Iran [NYT]
Report: Sarkozy Calls Netanyahu a ‘Liar’ [Ynet]
Why Obama Might Save Israel From Nuclear Iran [Bloomberg View]
Earlier: Perry’s Ascent Heralds Israel’s Rise as Issue
Frontrunning Romney Picks Fight on Israel

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I’m not trying to make a partisan point. I might well still vote for the guy. But there’s no universe in which the “may very well” in “Obama may very well be completely committed” doesn’t act as a thinner. Not that it isn’t accurate.

Shalom Freedman says:

Obama has just given the Republicans a bit more ammunition for those key states in which Jewish voters might make the difference. Florida, Ohio, Pennyslvania are among them.

“Which means it’s a good day for the GOP.”

So that is the point of this article – the question is what is good (or not) for the Democrats.

Maybe we ought to reflect upon what is good for the United States? Or maybe what is good for the Jewish people and for Israel?

student says:

eli, until we look at what is best for all humans, and our environment, i think we will continue our downward spiral.

The GOP has waged a war on the poor at home and a war against the world abroad. There is no way I could ever support a Republican candidate for president.

Downtown Ronny says:

JEWISH People are too intellegent and Smart to know that their is just a personality Clash between Obama and N>. The Torah says that Gossip is wrong! Some things that our Leaders say are not for our ears. Stop spreading it! President Obama is for Israel!-DUH! Iran will not get the Bomb! Americas current President will again be President and no doubt in History be considered the BEST!

ALOHA….. thank god President Obama is more balanced with dealing with israel and the middle east; if president bush and the other right-wing, fascist, christian tea-party neo-con republicans were still in the white house, they would have already attacked iran and started another war….. netanyahu is an extremist and until he is truly willing to negotiate and make peace with the palestinians, the status quo will continue…..


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Iran Report, Gaffe Provide GOP Opening

Candidates continue to hit Obama, and he isn’t making it any harder

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