On Foreign Policy: Obama, mixing rotten apples with unripe oranges

Inexperience – in challenging times for America, and at a time when world’s peace is at stake, is definitely a factor in determining who our next commander in chief, and leader of the free world should be. And it is irrational to question those who raise voices of concern over Mitt Romney’s non-record in the foreign policy field.

However, Obama’s record as commander in chief and president over the past three and a half years should also be exposed and examined. If this was an election, a choice between two candidate that do not share much in common and that express a totally different world view than each other, American voters would either have to trust both of them based on their positions and promises, or stick to the candidate that comes closer to their world view and opinion on the issues. Nonetheless, the circumstances in this years elections and given the historical facts, the narrative and the choice given to the electorate is certainly a discussion that puts the candidates views and positions on a disparate path.

Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and national security credentials should be applied, based on the positions he is taking in this election cycle and the 42 page manifesto he put out, after a period of briefing on this issues by former Us intelligence and defense officials and by the contacts he has forged with foreign leaders, his competence and passionate love for America.

Despite President Obama’s campaign tactic, highlighting on one side the president’s successful mission of ordering the killing Osama bin Laden and the public perception, considering him as a decent and trusted leader, at least when it comes to foreign affairs and national security. And questioning on the other side, Mitt Romney’s experience and quotes when he was running as a uncompetitive candidate or his inability to strike out a voice of sanity in focusing on foreign affairs (as if this was his job requirement) as Governor of Massachusetts. President Obama’s reocrd as president and on the other side of the aisle, Mitt Romney’s positions and foreign policy stance are incomparable.

The attempt by the Obama team to compare Obama’s and Romney’s positions, or rather Obama’s record vs. Romney’s promises and worldview, in an effort to portray Governor Romney as the inexperienced candidate, and the out of touch isolationist running against the incumbent, gutsy President, is like mixing apples and oranges. But in this case it’s rotten apples with unripe oranges. Romney characterized as the unripe orange – that its taste and readiness are still questionable, and President Obama as the rotten apple – that is visibly distasteful and that stands out as unbearable to eat or to keep.

Barack Obama’s record as President of the US, on foreign policy is as visible as his disastrous handling of the economical situation. And while he may be seen as the president that ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden, although he might has the killing instinct based on his record of killing Jobs and American entrepreneurship. The number of failures and misconduct on foreign affairs is noticeable but utmost misrepresented.

The handling of the relationship with Israel, that had ultimately buried any sustaining chance of at the very least an ongoing peace process in the Middle east, abandoning Mubarak as a honest and trusted partner in the middle east in the midst of the legitimate protests in the streets of Cairo but uncertain alternative. The inconsistency that led to the result of Islamists leading the Egyptian government and recognizing the Muslim Brotherhoood as partners and kingmakers in a rocky and unstable region, that could lead to more violence and extremism, and deal a blow to the peace efforts and an end to the security coordination between Israel and Egypt in an unnecessary step to end the 31 year Camp David peace treaty.

Not to mention, the weak leadership role the Obama has taken in the world, and leading from behind or led into acts not as a joint effort but as a response to events. If it’s stopping the Libyan Butcher in time, or holding Assad accountable to mass murder of innocent civilians picking up their heads, or imposing the harshest sanctions on Iran in isolating Iran with the western world and sanctioning the Iranian central bank in time and simply not carrying that “Big Stick”, VP Biden is talking about,as a credible military option in public.

The list goes on and on… and my colleague Adam Kredo, is already doing a magnificent job on a daily basis, highlighting the administrations policies and misconduct of the issues that matter most to our best allies and friends.

I observed this week, in a closed meeting in the city, a great quote that was said by one of the Republican freshmen in Congress: “Politicians are not bad. it’s the bad politicians that are bad.” President Obama, is not bad because he is a Democrat or because he is the incumbent that ought to be challenged, but simply because he is a bad party member and a very bad president.

In conclusion: Mitt Romney is running and should be inspected – as an alternative to President Obama. And therefore, he ought to be faced with tough questions and be held accountable to his promise, in taking the right positions that will put this country back on track and to fulfill its leadership role in the world, in one of the most challenging times in history. While President Obama should be examined by his sole record over the past three and a half years, and not by his promises or distinctions he draws sometimes successfully, with those challenging him.

Romney Extends Condolences to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Death of His Father

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pictured with his 102 year old father, Professor Benzion Netanyahu.


Israeli historian Benzion Netanyahu, professor emeritus at Cornell University and father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, passed away this morning at his home in in Jerusalem. He had recently been ill.

He was 102 years old.

Today, Governor Mitt Romney released the following statement on the death of Benzion Netanyahu:

I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Benzion Netanyahu. Not only was he the father of my friend Benjamin, the Prime Minister of Israel, and the father of Israel’s hero of the Entebbe raid, Yonatan Netanyahu, he was also a distinguished historian and leader in his own right. This is a loss for all of Israel and for all who care about Israel.”

Background on Professor Netanyahu:

Benzion Netanyahu (Hebrew: בנציון נתניהו‎ Bentsion) born Benzion Mileikowsky, (March 25, 1910 – April 30, 2012) was an Israeli historian and a professor emeritus at Cornell University. He was a specialist in the golden age of Jewish History in Spain, and is known for his opus, the Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain. In his final work, The Founding Fathers of Zionism, Benzion profiled the leading theorists of Israel; Leo Pinsker, Theodor Herzl, Max Nordau, Israel Zangwill and Ze’ev Jabotinsky. He was secretary to Ze’ev Jabotinsky, “the father of Revisionist Zionism”, and was a Revisionist leader of the Zionist Movement in theUnited States.

The funeral has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery.

Mitt Romney Central extends sincere condolences to Prime Minister Netanyahu and his family.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney VIDEO: Obama Promised to End Govt Programs That No Longer Work

ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT has released an excellent new video about one of Obama’s broken promises.

BROKEN PROMISES: SPENDING

But I will also go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less, because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy.” – Barack Obama, August 28, 2008

Supporting links:

TEXT:”Taxpayer dollars were squandered” after GSA officials spent nearly $1 Million for a lavish conference for only 300 attendees.

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson admitted in a letter of resignation that her agency had made a ‘significant misstep’ and that ‘taxpayer dollars were squandered.’ A GSA Inspector General’s report on the 2010 GSA ‘Western Regions’ training conference in Las Vegas shows the government spent more than $822,000 for the 300 attendees…” (Lesa Jansen, “GSA Head Resigns Over ‘Wasteful’ Las Vegas Seminar,” CNN, 4/2/12)

TEXT: “Obama’s budget projects that the deficit for the current year will total $1.33 Trillion, the fourth straight year of deficits over $1 Trillion.Highlights Of Obama’s $3.8 Trillion Budget, The Associated Press, 2/13/12

TEXT: “Under President Obama, the nation’s total public debt has reached a record $15.6 Trillion.”
U.S. Department Of The Treasury, www.treasurydirect.gov, Accessed 4/26/12

► Great video! Let’s get it out there; share it anywhere possible.


By Steve Breen - April 21, 2012


By Michael Ramirez - April 20, 2012



► Jayde Wyatt

Governor Mitt Romney is Keeping President Obama Off Balance

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

By all assessments, Governor Romney has surprised all political experts. The general election officially started last Tuesday and just one month ago, politicos of all stripes were predicting a Mt. Everest campaign for Governor Romney because of how he had been “damaged” from the primary battles. And guess what? All credible polls have Mr. Obama and Governor Romney at dead even odds — those surveying “likely voters” have Romney ahead. For perspective, at this exact point in the campaign in 1980, Reagan trailed President Carter by eight points.

So? The point is that Governor Romney is doing a lot right! As we have said many times here at MRC, Governor Romney is an outstanding strategist and planner. He has surrounded himself with some of the best advisers any candidate could hope for. Even so, we will see journalists, politicos, pundits, and editorial boards attempt to shape or influence his campaign strategy and message right up to the November election. They are Americans too and they want what’s best for our nation as well.

The following from the WSJ is one example. I have read many other articles in which Romney advisers have indicated he will be outlining key policy positions as the campaign progresses, so these suggestions below were internalized long ago. It seems obvious to me that one of Gov. Romney’s strategies is to keep Mr. Obama off balance, of which he is doing a masterful job!

Last Thursday, The Wall Street Journal editorial board published their central opinion piece titled, “The Romney Opportunity — Running on biography and the economy won’t be enough.” I recommend reading the entire piece by clicking the link just above.

With Newt Gingrich finally leaving the GOP Presidential race, Mitt Romney is now closer to realizing the ambition he has so long pursued: He has an even-money chance to become America’s 45th President. He’s more likely to fulfill that ambition if he overcomes his cautious nature and runs a campaign that is equal to America’s current political moment.

***
This will not be the instinct of Mr. Romney or his close-knit group of advisers. Looking at the polls, they see a nearly even race, with President Obama below 50% despite the beating Mr. Romney took in the primaries.

The temptation will be to assume the public has decided to fire the incumbent and so run a campaign to become the safe alternative. Take no policy risk, stress Mr. Romney’s biography, his attractive family and the seven habits of highly effective businessmen, and then hammer away on the economy.
[...]
On the economy in particular, such a larger argument would fit the country’s current mood. The public’s anxiety isn’t merely about the failures of the last three years, as important as it is for Mr. Romney to score this Administration for its failed stimulus, crony capitalism, hyperregulation, soaring debt and ObamaCare.

Americans are more deeply worried than at any time since the 1970s about their country’s long-term prospects. Why aren’t middle-class incomes rising? Why are nonmilitary public institutions failing—from K-12 education to entitlements?

Mr. Obama understands these anxieties, even if he has no new answer for them. So his diversionary re-election strategy will be a combination of class warfare, more government subsidies (free student loans!), and personal attacks on Mr. Romney for being wealthy. Mr. Romney will need allies who can rebut these attacks.

But he’ll find it easier to defeat Mr. Obama’s argument—even to transcend it—if he offers his own economic narrative that reaches back to the mistakes of the Bush Administration to explain how we got here and how he can get us out. Politically, this will help shield Mr. Romney from Mr. Obama’s inevitable attempt to link the Republican to the Bush era. Such a critique also has the advantage of being true.

Before Mr. Obama’s stimulus, Mr. Bush joined with Nancy Pelosi and Larry Summers on the blunder of “targeted, temporary” tax cuts. Mr. Bush began playing business favorites for ethanol and green energy fads. Republicans in Congress spent like Democrats and protected Fannie Mae and the housing lobby. And Mr. Bush and most Republicans embraced an easy-money Federal Reserve that favored Wall Street and asset bubbles at the expense of real middle-class incomes.

The editorial says some nice things about last week’s speech by Governor Romney.

But the speech was policy-free. To be credible, a reform agenda has to have some reform substance.
[...]
He has already endorsed enough of Mr. Ryan’s premium-support plan to have to defend it, and Mr. Obama is vulnerable with his Medicare cuts and unaccountable rationing board that are part of ObamaCare. Mr. Romney won’t win the election on Medicare, but even a draw will be a political victory. Leading on the debate will show voters he is willing to take on difficult issues and give him a reform mandate if he wins.

***
One of Mr. Romney’s trickiest challenges will be how to handle Mr. Obama’s, er, veracity. More than any President we’ve seen, this incumbent is willing to say things that aren’t in the area code of the truth. Thus he gives himself credit for the natural gas drilling boom, the deficits are still Mr. Bush’s fault, Mr. Obama has never raised taxes, and “green jobs” in his dream economy are blooming by the millions.

Mr. Romney can’t let the President get away with this, or Mr. Obama will conjure a vision of unreality that enough voters might believe. The challenger has to find a way to mock the mirage of an “economy built to last” without sounding arch or personal. He needs his version of Reagan’s “there he goes again.”

For all of his challenges, the most important political news is that Mr. Romney has a fighting chance to win. The incumbent’s accomplishments are unpopular and the economy is failing average Americans. To win the GOP nomination, Mr. Romney has shown reserves of tenacity and discipline. To win the White House, he’ll need to show a larger vision and the nerve to pursue it.

Hume: Obama, cheesy and unbecoming…

A recent Wall Street Journal Opinion written by Kimberley Strassel seemed to pass with little attention this past week, but today on Fox News Sunday it became a topic worthy of review. That said, it will not be elevated to any degree by the mainstream media, but should be!


Brit Hume noted the campaign’s approach as ‘cheesy’ and the ‘individual targeting’ as unbecoming a President or Presidential campaign. Strassel is more deliberate in her concern making reference to Richard Nixon’s ‘enemies list,’ however, she stops short in comparison. She makes note of what might be and not necessarily what is. With Strassel’s concerns noted, we should look deeper into Obama’s campaign strategy and willingness to do and say whatever is necessary to stay in office. Whether stated or otherwise, there is a fear of loss underpinning the Obama campaign. The consequence of this foundational fear is a campaign of intimidation, demonization, distortion and division. It is going to be a brutal six months. Fortunately for the nation, Mitt Romney has the mettle and character to bear the onslaught. As the most qualified candidate in our lifetime for POTUS, the attacks on Mitt Romney will not stick and, I believe, will backfire on the Obama campaign.

Obama has a proven proclivity to obviate the checks and balances in our Federalist system through the appointment of czars and/or initiatives to work around Congress. As the President of the US, this inclination, enhanced with the fear of loss, is distressing when thinking about what intimidation tactics Obama might employ for his own advantage. Is this recent effort a sign of Obama’s campaign tactics of suppression and intimidation, where he targets individuals, seeking to impugn their character with inference and innuendo, as a deliberate attempt to intimidate them and others from publicly or privately supporting Romney?

It appears that the Obama machine will use whatever arrow they can find in their quiver, and the likely arrows will be racial divide, class warfare and character assassination. Within this framework, they may well turn to intimidation tactics, as illustrated by the above editorial and commentary. Strassel notes that as President, Obama can call for IRS audits, FBI investigations and other disruption in people’s lives – will he?

That said, with Peggy Noonan’s WSJ editorial in the previous post I am a little perplexed as to why Obama is fighting so hard to preserve his job when he has performed so badly. Wasn’t it Michelle Obama’s paraphrased fantasy to just walk out of the White House and not come back? And yet, we see the tactics emerging; we see according to Drudge that Obama has held more re-election fundraisers than every president since Richard Nixon – combined. The only reasoning that I can see for Obama’s want to preserve his position is his advocacy of a ‘bad’ ideology and pride, but as they say, pride goeth before the fall. Suffice to say the man can not be trusted and seems, from all viewpoints, to be filled with guile.

It is going to get interesting!

Noonan: Obama as “Bush League President” — Incompetent, Boring, Scattered, Lacks Joy

To see five reasons Governor Romney will defeat Mr. Obama in November, see article below the political cartoons under the fold.

Bored? Credit: AFP / Getty Images

I can’t believe that I am actually writing about the President of the United States when hearing the jokes at last night’s White House Corresponsdents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C. Consider these selected by Mr. Obama, among many others:

Where he was born (this one starts at 3:20, and he actually winked after saying, “And I, of course, was born in Hawaii.”)…Eating dogs (several jokes on this topic)…His rumored, radical, second term agenda…Hillary Clinton’s beer drinking in Colombia (”she won’t stop drunk texting me from Cartagena.”)…Wait, let’s not forget the toilet flush. Did we really need to envision the president sitting on the toilet, seconds before he was to address the White House Press Corps?

Potty jokes as president? Demeaning the Secretary of State? Okay. We learned after Mr. Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize that he and Michelle and friends were disappointed in how he was perceived:

The trip spurred a thought the Obamas and their friends would voice to each other again and again as the president’s popularity continued to decline: the American public just did not appreciate their exceptional leader.

Is it surprising that some Americans are seriously considering leaving our nation in an Atlas Shrugged manner? Or maybe it’s only those from California, which state Mr. Obama seems to be modeling his economic policy after. BTW, consider this CYA truth by Obama in the Bin Laden operation (one tenet of strong leadership is to credit success to others and take responsibility for failures — Obama never learned this).

Newsmax gave us this earlier in the week:

“They’re a very confused campaign right now,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades tells Newsmax. “They’ve had years to build out the infrastructure, and they’ve certainly done that. They say they have 700 people. But campaigns are really won on message and the candidates themselves. And they’re a campaign without a message right now.

UPDATE #1 (hat tip to @Fla4Romney): Obama has held more re-election fundraisers than previous five Presidents combined as he visits key swing states on ‘permanent campaign’

UPDATE #2: From the WSJ: “Obama the Unseemly — A more aggressive press corps might have motivated him to preserve his dignity.”

Peggy Noonan wrote an outstanding opinion piece titled, A BUSH LEAGUE PRESIDENT that is both worrisome regarding Mr. Obama but optimistic regarding Governor Romney:

There is every reason to be deeply skeptical of President Obama’s prospects in November.

Republicans feel an understandable anxiety about Mr. Obama’s coming campaign: It will be all slice and dice, divide and conquer, break the country into little pieces and pick up as many as you can. He’ll try to pick up college students one day and solidify environmentalist support the next, he’ll valorize this group and demonize the other. He means to gather in and hold onto all the pieces he needs, and turn them into a jagged, jangly coalition that will win it for him in November and not begin making individual demands until December.

But it still matters that the president doesn’t have a coherent agenda, or a political philosophy that is really clear to people. To the extent he has a philosophy, it tends to pop up furtively in stray comments and then go away. This is to a unique degree a presidency of inference, its overall meaning never vividly declared. In some eras, that may be a plus. In this one?

She mentions the power of incumbency and continues and nails it, spot on. She so perfectly describes what you can see in his eyes and demeanor, as she admits that what she is about to write is rude: (more…)

Math: Mitt Romney vs MSM

As with the Republican Primary, in Mitt Romney’s General Election strategy – math matters!

Foremost in any Presidential campaign, and especially this one, is the candidate, his message, competency and experience. Even so, campaign strategies are not to be trifled with. We witnessed how important this was in the recent Republican Primary campaign. A key strategic focus of the Romney campaign was “delegates,” and in the end it is delegates that determine the Republican nominee. An important part of Mitt Romney’s Primary success came in winning delegates. Of course, he has also won the hearts of the Republican Party membership, as we now see a coalescing and unifying of the Party and its leadership behind him. Not surprisingly, this has happened far more quickly than many thought. In fact, this coalescence of the Party behind the most capable Presidential candidate in our lifetime, and his inspired leadership and message, is what will win the day in November.

Although different in many respects, the General Election cycle is similar to the Primary in the sense that what matters is “electoral votes.” As was clearly evidenced during the Bush Gore election, the importance of the popular vote is trumped by the importance of the electoral votes.

So what does the electoral map tell us? What is the mainstream media spin? What is the truth?

The mainstream media, and the pundits, will tell you that Barack Obama has the advantage as the incumbent. Of course, they said that about Jimmy Carter as well and we all know how that ended, thankfully.

Recently posted on Real Clear Politics is the chart below giving advantage to Obama, but wait…there’s more than meets the eye!

Reasoned facts -
-Mitt Romney will win all states carried by John McCain in 2008 – 173 electoral votes
(Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Alaska, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia)
-Mitt Romney will most likely win historically red states, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia – 46 electoral votes
-Mitt Romney can win Ohio and Florida – 47 electoral votes
-Mitt Romney then only needs to win 4 more electoral votes for 270. Pick any other state, or combination thereof – Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire…

Bottom line – Mitt Romney is in a very strong position to win in November. Most polls have him leading on the hard issues – the economy, jobs and energy. Interestingly, the swing states that have suffered economically under Obama are: Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado and others. Irrespective of the mainstream media spin to the contrary, people are suffering and will continue to struggle under the oppressive economic and energy policies of Obama. Mitt Romney’s message to America, recently given in his acceptance speech on April 24th, is clear and distinctive. It has and will continue to resonate with Americans. Alternatively, the tone and campaign of distortion and destruction by Obama will be equally clear. America will have a choice, and given our choice in 2008, the better choice will seem more clear in 2012, and that choice will be for freedom, strength and Mitt Romney.

Video of Romney’s victory speech:

On another point, as the Republican Primary is all but ended and the battle for the nomination is past, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are now very close in favorability and likability polls. Even so, this election will be won on competence and capacity more than likability; but we have six months to introduce Mitt Romney to the nation! And like those who have come to know Mitt Romney, those who don’t know him will learn of him and come to like him – a lot! At the end of the process, Mitt Romney will win on competence, experience, capacity and trust, and likability!

Ann Romney: Entertainment Tonight, Prescott Bush Awards Dinner, B-Day Cake ‘Trumps’ Fundraiser

Last night, the crew at Entertainment Tonight caught up with busy Ann Romney. Nancy O’Dell asked the former First Lady of Massachusetts a variety of questions, including queries about Saturday Night Live skits that skewer her and Governor Romney. Ann’s good humor won the evening: “Over the weekend we heard about it — our kids e-mailed us about it and we laughed about it.”

Mrs. Romney was also asked if she would ever appear on SNL (answer in video below).

Ms. O’Dell inquired about Ann’s health – her battle with cancer and ongoing challenges with multiple sclerosis. Opening up about the debilitating way M.S. affects her, Ann revealed a scare she had just before Super Tuesday. Here’s the interview:


I had such a nice time talking to her [Ann Romney]. She is such a strong woman.” ~ Nancy O’Dell

On Monday (April 23rd), the night before mini Super Tuesday elections, the former Massachusetts First Lady was in Stamford, Connecticut where she was the keynote speaker at the Prescott Bush Awards Dinner.

If you’re unfamiliar with the event, it’s named after United States Senator Prescott Sheldon Bush who represented Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963. He was the father of President George H. W. Bush (41), and grandfather to President George W. Bush (43) and 43rd Governor of Florida – Jeb Bush. The event sold out; it’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the state GOP. This year, Tom Foley, who ran for governor in 2010, received the Prescott Bush Award. Foley was narrowly defeated by Democrat Dan Malloy.

Mrs. Romney regaled the crowd relating stories of the hard work and rewards of motherhood and shared the some of the challenges of her health. In 2002, when Governor Romney committed to take on the scandal-ridden Winter Olympic Games, her M.S. was so bad she could barely walk, but, with Mitt’s encouragement, she was able to carry the Olympic torch. She related how her husband and five boys cheered and got teary-eyed with love and pride when she completed the taxing accomplishment.

Ann spoke of the juggling act of motherhood:

“I know what it’s like to finish the laundry and to look in the basket five minutes later and it’s full again,” Romney said. “I know what it’s like to pull all the groceries in and see the teenagers run through and then all of sudden all of the groceries you just bought a few hours ago are gone. I know what it’s like to get up early in the morning and get them off to school. I know what it’s like get up in the middle of the night when they’re sick And I know what it’s like to struggle and to have those concerns that all mothers have.”
[...]
“Some people think that I didn’t work,” Romney said. “I didn’t have help for many, many years.”

Romney said it was only after the birth of her youngest son, Craig, when she had to have emergency surgery, that she enlisted help with running the household.

Ann also spoke of the outpouring of encouragement she is receiving along the campaign trail and of the many women who have revealed they are praying for her:

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that because the days are long, the road is hard, the trials are there and I never know when I have this little gray cloud over my head when it’s going to start raining again,” Romney said. “And I do need everyone’s prayers.”

C-Span aired Ann’s excellent speech:

Ann Romney: “There is something going on out there in America. Traveling all over the United States has been amazing and I have met the most amazing people, especially women. These women are speaking to me about the economy, about the budget deficit, about their future. I have learned that people are ready for a change and for someone to come out and fix it.”

Readers have asked about the birthday party/fundraiser Melania Trump hosted for Ann Romney back on April 17th. In a nutshell, it was a great success!

(more…)

Bibi: I Like Mitt Romney But I’m Not Going To Tell You..

Following the NYT story on Mitt Romney’s 36 year friendship with Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to shake off any sort of affiliation with Romney or even criticize Obama – in order not be accused by the media or seen in public as intervening in the general election. But we all know what he really thinks of President Obama. And from his muted comments, there are more than some hints, that these two men, Romney and Netanyahu, share a lot in common and that a President Romney will be more than a pleasant wish come true for the Israeli government.

Watch video and judge yourself:

Posted by:

Jacob Kornbluh is a political correspondent for the Jewish Voice newspaper in Brooklyn, and host of the popular online radio program The Bibi Report and Believe in America radio. You can read his blog at JacobKornbluh.com, or follow him on Twitter: @jacobkornbluh

Veepstakes Speculation is Complete Entertainment

For about a month, I have been intending to write this piece but didn’t have the courage to write it until today; not until somebody smarter than I wrote what I have been wanting to.

Credit: The Economist

I acknowledge right up front that I will likely anger some people that read this. That is not my intent at all. There is no question that the choice of a vice president by Governor Romney is very important for America as that person could become president in a heartbeat. Absolutely! However, I argue here that there is almost no value whatsoever in publicly speculating and debating who that person will be, many months ahead of when Governor Romney will make the decision. It is a well accepted truth that the selection of a veep has little to no impact in a presidential contest, except in the negative (remember unprepared Palin?).

My assertion is that all public discussion and debate of who Governor Romney’s choice in a running mate will be is a complete and utter waste of time. Especially when considering the many hours a week devoted to this one topic in radio and television talk shows. That said, I believe there are two exceptions to this assertion, both of which I consider to be of minimal value. The two exceptions are:

  1. Entertainment Value
  2. Potential Candidate Response Value

First — the entertainment value. This is the main reason we see all the public speculation and discussion. We all enjoy speculating about everything. It is fun to think about who might be catapulted from a given strata to number two! I love the speculation myself. Heck, Nate developed our site’s “Veep Madness” awhile back — It is brilliant and fun! I see all the public speculation about the veep choice much like using Instagram (I just got it on my Droid). It is fun, a novelty, and a complete waste of time, except for the entertainment value. It is much like watching Modern Family. There is no value in spending time watching Modern Family except being with those you love and to laugh, right?

Second — the potential candidate response value. Since so many possible veep candidates are asked the question, one of them might say something really stupid like, “Are you kidding me? I would love to be picked as vice president by Mitt…I think I am the best person in all of America for that position!” So, there is a little value in the public discussion on this point — very little and that value is as a negative determinant.

Do you trust Governor Romney’s judgment in this decision? I do. What person alive has better analytic skills than Governor Romney? What about judgment? Exactly. Do you think the person he ultimately chooses will be properly vetted? Okay then. What value is there in all the public debate and speculation? There is none. It is pure entertainment value. That’s it. Am I right? Am I wrong?

Look what Karl Rove wrote in the every first three paragraphs of his latest Wall Street Journal opinion piece:

We’ve entered the silly season when vast numbers of words will be expended on who Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate should be. Since the actual announcement is likely to be made shortly before the Aug. 31 GOP convention, we’ll have to endure three-and-a-half months of pundits handicapping prospects.

This exercise is largely useless. Who thought at this point in 2000 that the vice-presidential nominees would be Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman, or in 2008 Sarah Palin and Joe Biden?

The person who matters most in this decision, Mr. Romney, appears to be approaching it with appropriate seriousness, appointing a longtime trusted aide, Beth Myers, to vet possible running mates.

[emphasis added]

I think Rove is wrong on one point. The exercise is not entirely “useless.” There is entertainment value, right? I mean the sitcom Modern Family makes a lot of money and Instagram is worth $1 billion — so there is value — its not entirely useless! I love to disagree with Karl Rove! Here are two of my favorite lines from Rove’s Op-Ed:

Having played a role in this process, I know that if done well this will be a political proctology exam for each individual considered. [...] This is not an activity for the squeamish or reticent.

Entertaining! And to the point of having almost no influence whether a presidential candidate will win or lose the election?

Running mates haven’t decided an election in more than a half-century. For example, research by Bernard Grofman and Reuben Kline, political scientists at the University of California, Irvine, suggests that the net impact of the vice-presidential picks in 2008 was roughly one-half of one point and is generally less than one percentage point. Presidential elections are rarely that close.

So why do we all spend hours and hours speculating on something of no value? His last sentence wraps the piece well: (more…)

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