Where have you been for the last two years?
Yes, I've been totally crazy between work and traveling....
Former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney was in Washington on Friday to attend the first ever Israeli-American Council National Conference. He attacked President Obama's Middle East policies (indeed, Obama's foreign policies in general) with a vigor that's been lacking in the US for the last two years.
Mr. Romney’s first order of business was to reveal that he was both “stunned” and “surprised” that President Obama sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - suggesting he both sign a nuclear agreement and join a U.S.-led military effort against the Islamic State.
The former presidential candidate did not hold back before the enthusiastic audience. He went after Mr. Obama’s foreign policy, and for weakening the military and “apologizing for America” during overseas visits. Mr. Romney even criticized Democratic candidates for distancing themselves from the president during the run-up to the midterm elections.
“The White House may view the inaugural Israeli-American convention as an anti-Obama victory party,” says Chemi Shalev, a columnist for Haaretz. “It would be inhuman to expect Mitt Romney to refrain from some gloating and schadenfreude at a groundbreaking meeting of expat Israelis.”
Indeed, Mr. Romney discussed the election, Israel’s close relationship with the U.S. and founding values on stage with Dan Senor, a former policy adviser for the George W. Bush administration. The pair are among 100 speakers at the three-day gathering, which frames the Israeli-American community as a particularly strategic asset on the global landscape. Also on hand: Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez, Rep. Ted Deutch, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, former Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman — as well as uber-business leaders and philanthropists Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, who will lead a session titled “The Israeli-American Dream” on Sunday.Now, someone tell me where Romney has been for the last two years.
And there's also some good news from a Pew poll.
A new Pew Research Center survey found that while 66 percent of Jewish voters backed Democratic candidates during the midterms, “Democrats appear to have lost some ground with Jews.” The analysis notes: “In 2006, Jewish voters favored Democratic candidates over Republicans by a 75-point margin — 87 percent to 12 percent. In 2014, by contrast, the margin of victory for Democratic House candidates among Jewish voters nationwide was 33 points — 66 percent to 33 percent.”Still waiting for Jewish support for Democrats to decline below 50%. Read the whole thing.