The GOP’s Pro-Israel Coming Out Party
RJC forum highlights centrality of Mideast to presidential contest
Fred Karger or no, today is a big and, to my mind, successful day for the Republican Jewish Coalition. It is hosting all the leading GOP presidential candidates (except for Rep. Ron Paul) and finds itself perfectly positioned to be one of the key surrogates for the eventual Republican nominee. (Just one telling fact: the response conference call this afternoon is being given not by the head of the National Jewish Democratic Council but by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee). The candidates will re-affirm their own somewhat shaky rhetoric and then go on the offensive. The Times makes the point today that I have been making for awhile: that Israel/Iran is the most fertile foreign policy front against President Obama.
A major thrust of the Republican foreign-policy argument has emerged: that President Obama has not strongly supported Israel and that he has been too soft on its adversaries, Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinians. That softness, they say, extends to other parts of the world. …
Support for Israel has become something of a litmus test for evangelical Christians in early voting states like Iowa and South Carolina, where large numbers of voters and caucusgoers describe themselves as evangelical. And in the general election, Jewish voters may be critical in swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania.
I think it’s plausible to suppose that strongly Zionist non-Jewish voters may be inclined to take their cues from how they perceive Jewish voters see Obama’s record on Israel and Iran. It’s just one more way in which Jewish voters will have outsize support, and that in turn guarantees that the RJC will continue to have a high profile through Election Day.