The Corner

E Pluribus Obama

I missed this when it was first reported yesterday, but it’s worth noting. The Politico’s Ben Smith reported that AIPAC released two letters from the Senate addressed to the President in which the signatories affirm, among other things, Israel’s right to defend itself in response to attacks from Gaza:

One letter is signed by 77 senators, including John McCain.

The other is signed by Barack Obama.

The letters don’t differ on major points. Obama’s letter omits even faint praise for Bush. It also is less explicit in calling for a veto of a United Nations resolution, though it does call for standing up for Israel at the U.N. And it adds a passage praising the Israeli negotiations with Syria.

But it is a mark of the difference between the two campaigns: Obama’s is extremely focused on the clarity of his message, and isn’t about to sign onto others’ roughly similar words or views.

Smith’s primarily a reporter so it’s not his job to read too much into this, but saying Obama released his own letter because he’s “extremely focused on the clarity of his message” is excessively charitable. Based on the contents of his letter, Obama would like to see the Palestinians and Israelis get together and hash things out. Yet he can’t bring himself to sign on to the same letter as 77 other senators? His decision to not sign on to the main letter suggests he doesn’t work well with others and/or he’s significantly outside the mainstream on Israel policy such that he can’t bring himself to align with the majority on some level, despite Smith’s suggestion that the the differences in the letters are minor. Stunts like this can’t be terribly reassuring to Jewish voters.

UPDATE — A reader draws my attention to this sentence from the second paragraph of  Obama’s letter: 

But I am deeply concerned that Israel’s security has been put at risk both because of renewed threats from implacable enemies like Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas, and because of policy choices by the United States. [Emphasis added]

Does Obama really want to go around blaming Israel’s security problems on the U.S., let alone do it in the same sentence he notes the threats presented by Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas? Well, you’d certainly be hard pressed to find many people in congress willing to sign on to that notion.

Close Read more >>   Options >>  Visit Answers.com

 

Most Popular

Trump vs. Biden: A Rundown

One week out, the contrasts are worth assessing. Foreign policy Biden so far has issued no substantive critique of Trump’s foreign policy other than banalities that Trump’s comportment and unpredictability have offended allies and tarnished America’s reputation. But who exactly, according to Biden, is ... Read More

Trump vs. Biden: A Rundown

One week out, the contrasts are worth assessing. Foreign policy Biden so far has issued no substantive critique of Trump’s foreign policy other than banalities that Trump’s comportment and unpredictability have offended allies and tarnished America’s reputation. But who exactly, according to Biden, is ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Elections

The Only Middle Finger Available

If Donald Trump wins a second term, it will be an unmistakable countercultural statement in a year when progressives have otherwise worked their will across the culture. After months and months of statues toppling and riots in American cities and a crime wave and woke virtue-signaling from professional sports ... Read More
Elections

The Only Middle Finger Available

If Donald Trump wins a second term, it will be an unmistakable countercultural statement in a year when progressives have otherwise worked their will across the culture. After months and months of statues toppling and riots in American cities and a crime wave and woke virtue-signaling from professional sports ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Some Counterfactual Thinking

Election Day is one week away. Can you believe it? On the menu today: contemplating what would be different, and what would be the same, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg had retired in 2013 instead of staying on the Court until her death earlier this year; a couple of flubbed words on the campaign trail; yes, people really ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Some Counterfactual Thinking

Election Day is one week away. Can you believe it? On the menu today: contemplating what would be different, and what would be the same, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg had retired in 2013 instead of staying on the Court until her death earlier this year; a couple of flubbed words on the campaign trail; yes, people really ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Whose Seat?

Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. And I think there are two little things to say about it. The first is that we very likely have in Barrett the true successor to Antonin Scalia on the Court. Barrett clerked for Scalia and her articulation of his philosophy is probably the most faithful on the court. Justices ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Whose Seat?

Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. And I think there are two little things to say about it. The first is that we very likely have in Barrett the true successor to Antonin Scalia on the Court. Barrett clerked for Scalia and her articulation of his philosophy is probably the most faithful on the court. Justices ... Read More