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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The GOP's Israel primary

In the last couple of weeks, three likely candidates for the Republican nomination for President have been here in Israel. In order of arrival, they are Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Haley Barbour. Why are they coming here? Politico's Alexander Burns explains.
Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who’s also traveling with Barbour’s contingent, pointed out that visiting Israel gives Republicans a chance to show solidarity with a beleaguered ally that’s been distrustful of President Barack Obama.

“If you took a poll of Israelis and asked what they thought about the president and his policies, his marks would be reasonably low, perhaps among the lowest of any in the world. There is a disquiet, an unease, even now in terms of what is happening in Egypt,” Coleman told POLITICO after a Tuesday meeting with the mayor of Jerusalem. “I think most Republican candidates are saying: We could stand a lot more foursquare with our democratic ally.”

Israel’s status as an important stop for presidential candidates isn’t exactly new. Obama visited Israel in the midst of his 2008 campaign. Back in 1998, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush went to Israel and got a helicopter tour from Ariel Sharon as part of an effort to show his mettle on the international stage.

But Israel has loomed ever larger in Republican politics since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, particularly among Jewish conservatives and evangelical voters who cared deeply about Israel’s well being to begin with.

One reason Israel is so important to evangelicals is its biblical role in setting the stage for the Second Coming of Jesus—its survival is essential.

For others, a country that was already a U.S. ally has become a symbol of Western values under siege in a region swept with violent extremism. For a political party defined for much of the last decade by its stance on fighting radical Islam, there’s no foreign nation that can command greater sympathy.
And they didn't even mention that there are more American expats who are registered to vote here than anyplace else in the World.

Read the whole thing.

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At 2:26 AM, Blogger BH in Iowa said...

With BHO's meddling in Israel's affairs, you should have two Senators!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Eliyahu in Shilo said...

Check out the first mention of Barbour on this blog. July 13th, 2009. http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2009/07/please-no.html


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