Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Special Report with Bret Baier |Monday, July 30, 2012

On President Clinton’s featured role in the Democratic Party Convention:

It’s a sign of weakness. He wouldn’t be calling on the old heavyweight to come out of retirement unless Obama thought — if he was ahead by ten points or even with five, having a successful economy, he wouldn’t ask him [Clinton] to come out.

I think this is mostly internal Democratic politics. If there were a large number of disaffected Hillary acolytes who went for Obama in the general election in 2008, there are a larger number today — after the performance of the last four years and them thinking how it would have been had Hillary been the nominee and then the president. So I think it’s a way to shore up those votes.

I don’t think it has appeal outside the Democratic Party. After all, Clinton is not at all like Obama. Clinton’s the guy who abolished welfare. He’s the guy also who declared the era of big government is over. Obama lives by the creed that if you built it, it wasn’t you, it was the government. It’s completely different [political philosophy]. It’s the difference between a center-left Democrat and a man of the left.

On Mitt Romney’s speech in Jerusalem:

Romney’s performance in Israel is a masterstroke. It is true that the words were roughly what Obama had said, but it wasn’t only the [difference in] tone [from Obama]. It was the nuance.

Middle East diplomacy is conducted entirely in code words and nuance. And Romney had the one Middle Easterners understand. He spoke of Iran. Obama also said Israel has a right to defend itself, but that was in the abstract. Romney then added, as we saw in the clip, that America will be with you, meaning, Obama says you can defend yourself but we know behind the scenes he is giving a red light, speaking about — leaking stuff — to indicate [that an] Israeli strike wouldn’t succeed. Romney is saying if you do it, I’ll stand with you. You don’t have to worry about America punishing you afterwards.

And also on Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, Obama has said that, but Romney spoke about acquiring the knowledge, the capacity… Obama has conceded on [Iran continuing] uranium enrichment. Romney says no, we want to stop the program.

These are huge differences, understood in the Middle East — [done] without attacking Obama. That is why it was a great success.