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Sunday, February 22, 2015

How the media is spinning Netanyahu's speech

American President Hussein Obama is trying to counter Prime Minister Netanyahu's upcoming visit to Washington in any way possible.
In what is becoming an increasingly nasty grudge match, the White House is mulling ways to undercut Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming trip to Washington and blunt his message that a potential nuclear deal with Iran is bad for Israel and the world.
There are limits. Administration officials have discarded the idea of President Barack Obama himself giving an Iran-related address to rebut the two speeches Netanyahu is to deliver during his early March visit. But other options remain on the table.
Among them: a presidential interview with a prominent journalist known for coverage of the rift between Obama and Netanyahu, multiple Sunday show television appearances by senior national security aides and a pointed snub of America's leading pro-Israel lobby, which is holding its annual meeting while Netanyahu is in Washington, according to the officials.
The administration has already ruled out meetings between Netanyahu and Obama, saying it would be inappropriate for the two to meet so close to Israel's March 17 elections. But the White House is now doubling down on a cold-shoulder strategy, including dispatching Cabinet members out of the country and sending a lower-ranking official than normal to represent the administration at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the officials said.
And Obama's allies in the media are trying to help him. Here's an example from CNN
A large majority of Americans believe that Republican congressional leaders should not have invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the White House, according to a new CNN/ORC survey.
The nationwide poll, released Tuesday, shows 63% of Americans say it was a bad move for congressional leadership to extend the invitation without giving President Barack Obama a heads up that it was coming. Only 33% say it was the right thing to do.
But what's missing here is the key point. While many Americans feel uncomfortable with the seeming end-run around the White House to invite Netanyahu, most Americans would like to hear what Netanyahu has to say about Iran. This is from Josh Rogin at Bloomberg
While it may be true that most Americans don't like Boehner's tactics, it's not the case that they don't want Netanyahu to go through with it. According to the TIP data, 25 percent of 1,563 respondents to the new poll said they agreed more with the statement:
Some people say Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is in the middle of an election at home, and it is inappropriate for the U.S. to host him for a speech only two weeks before the election is being held. They say this is a Republican attempt to make Netanyahu look stronger before his election.
While 43 percent of respondents said they agreed more with the following statement:
Other people say Iran is getting closer to building a nuclear weapon. As one of the world's most knowledgeable leaders on the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should address Congress before the March 31st deadline for a political framework with Iran.
Those are detailed questions for a news survey, which was conducted by Paragon Insights, and one can debate whether the reference to Netanyahu's credentials was relevant. (The full methodology and text of all questions can be found here.) Nonetheless, the responses make clear that more Americans than not now believe it’s a good idea to let Netanyahu make his case.
And a plurality of Americans are unhappy with the way the Obama administration has reacted to the speech. 
Also, more respondents than not (47 percent to 32 percent) disapprove of the way the administration has reacted to the coming speech. Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have all said they won't meet with Netanyahu while he is in Washington, citing a desire not to interfere in the Israeli elections coming March 17.
A report in Politico shows even larger majorities of Americans want Netanyahu to speak
The poll — conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, a pollster that worked for former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) — found that 59 percent of Americans support Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and only 23 percent oppose, according to results obtained by POLITICO. McLaughlin & Associates CEO John McLaughlin has also advised Netanyahu during his current reelection campaign.
[T]he poll concluded that 36 percent of people strongly support the March 3 address, while just 11 percent strongly oppose it. 
The survey also found that 79 percent want to require both Obama and Congress to vet a deal that would ratchet down Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for further loosening of some sanctions. Congressional Republicans are increasingly shifting their stance on the Iran toward requiring congressional approval for a deal, as opposed to imposing new sanctions. The White House opposes both options.
Netanyahu's opponents are being advised by Barack Obama's 2012 campaign staff.

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At 2:22 AM, Blogger TMay said...

I left a comment. I was the second. I thought my comment was informative. I don't see it here, plus the other person's comment has disappeared.


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