Monday, April 30, 2007

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Stan Estrich sends a message to Obama to step up the pro-Israel rhetoric.

The two people with the most to lose in the [Democratic Presidential] debate were the two who entered with the most support, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. While Friday morning's polls, at least of South Carolina Democrats, gave the edge to Obama, that’s not how I see it. Hillary made no mistakes. Obama did.

Asked about America's best friends in the world, Obama waxed on about NATO and our European allies before looking east to Japan. I'm not a foreign policy expert, but I've been around debates for decades and it was clear that Obama didn't get that this was the Israel question.

He didn't get that people like me, voters and donors, were waiting to hear the word "Israel" in a way that Japanese Americans were not. Japan doesn't live under constant threats; Israel does. Japanese Americans don't worry about Japan's survival in the way Jewish Americans worry about Israel. Obama's answer, in my book, was the biggest mistake of the debate.

The term "friend" is a very imprecise term to be used in the context of international relations, but certainly friendship involves give and take, rather than just take.

Ms. Estrich headed the losing Dukakis campaign for President.

Blue Streak


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