For Mitt Romney, Israel may be one place where he can do what Barack Obama hasn’t: Connect.
Romney’s planned trip to the Holy Land, is a move that has less to do with foreign policy than with symbolism, Zeke Miller reports. With Israel representing both Romney’s tough, undiplomatic international posture and his eagerness to find the emotional connection with American voters that seems to come more easily to the incumbent.
Quotes per Jpost and BuzzFeed:
Noah Pollak, the executive director of the conservative Emergency Committee for Israel:
“It would be improper for him to attack Obama on foreign soil… so he'll have to give a speech that lays out his different vision and his critique of how Obama handles the relationship, but in positive terms. He should look to none other than Netanyahu for how to do this. It's exactly how Bibi eviscerated Obama in his speech to Congress last year, the speech with dozens of standing ovations.”
Middle-East peace process scholar Aaron David Miller, a former State Department official:
“Supporters of Israel want to be loved constantly. President Obama is cool and detached on Israel as he is on most issues, while Israel is one of the few issues to which Romney seems instinctively and emotionally attached.”
Jonny Daniels, an Israeli Republican political consultant:
“It’s a huge thing that he’s coming here. I think he puts significant pressure on Obama by coming here,” he said.
William Daroff, Washington director of the Jewish Federations of North America:
“There is a definite perception that the Jewish vote and the pro-Israel vote are in play this election cycle. By going to Israel, [former] governor Romney will be highlighting the fact that President Obama has not been to Israel as president, as well as emphasizing differences in how Romney says he would work with Israel generally, and Prime Minister Netanyahu specifically.”“The visuals and contrasts from a Romney trip to Israel are important for his campaign’s efforts with not just the Jewish community, but also the pro-Israel Evangelical Christian community.”