February 28, 2008

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP:

Obama Rebuffs Challenges on His Israel Stance (Jonathan Weisman, 2/28/08, Washington Post)

In the Democratic presidential primaries, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) has run well ahead of Obama among Jewish voters in states with large Jewish populations, taking 67 percent of the Jewish vote in Nevada, 63 percent in New Jersey, 65 percent in New York and 60 percent in Maryland. Obama narrowly won the Jewish vote in Arizona, California and Massachusetts, and captured 61 percent in Connecticut.

"The campaign's going to have to make a strong effort against these rumors," Cohen said.

Alan Solomont, a Boston financier who is Obama's Northeastern finance chairman, said he has been fielding almost daily calls from Jewish friends, asking about Obama's position on Israel and on other policy issues important to them.

Another issue for Obama besides Farrakhan and White has been his campaign's association with Zbigniew Brzezinski and Robert Malley, two prominent foreign policy experts whom some Jews regard as anti-Israel.

Obama took on those issues in Cleveland when he told Jewish leaders that Brzezinski, a national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is not a key adviser but merely someone he had lunch with and exchanged e-mails with "maybe three times." Malley, a State Department official in the Clinton White House involved in failed efforts to complete a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, "is one of hundreds of people who have sent advice to the campaign," Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), an Obama supporter, wrote in the Jerusalem Post yesterday.

The persistence of the changes against Obama has left his supporters pointing fingers, both at the GOP and at the Clinton campaign. Wexler pointed to a Newsweek article this week that said Clinton senior adviser Ann Lewis had called Brzezinski Obama's "chief foreign policy adviser" during a conference call in January with leaders of major Jewish organizations.


Sounds like a sinister plot.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2008 10:40 AM
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