Hillary Ups Fear Factor



This has to stop. Hillary has every right to tout her experience — it’s probably her biggest selling point in this election. But she’s got to find a way to do it without heightening the fear, discussing our “dangerous world,” or constantly reminding voters that we are at war. These may or may not be true, but including them in her stump speech only serves to shift public opinion towards solutions that emphasize guns and bombs over diplomacy and cooperation….

Open Thread: Oakley Weighs in on Israel-Palestine Peace



Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner sent this note to me during my travels this week in Israel and Palestine: There is no such thing as peace. Only equilibrium. Something to think about. Clearly, he is making a play for a bone. Perhaps my friend Daniel Levy should change the name of his blog from Prospects for Peace to Prospects for Equilibrium. — Steve Clemons

Off to Ramallah



This trip to Israel and today to Palestine has been extremely eye-opening. Condoleezza Rice will be here on Monday — and there is antipathy to her trip at the highest levels of government. I’ve been told that she comes with no plan, no ideas, no pressure to move in any direction whatsoever. According to a source very close to Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert, she doesn’t even ask questions about the basic positions on each side so as to understand the…

24 Senators Call on Rice to Review US-Cuba Policy



Republican Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Larry Craig (R-ID), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Arlen Specter (R-PA) join 19 Democrat Senators on a letter calling for the State Department and Condoleezza Rice to do a full policy review of America’s relations toward Cuba. This follows a similar letter sent from the House of Representatives to the executive branch with the signatures of 100 House Members. Here is a pdf of the Senate letter — and some…

Israel Prefers Hillary



Senator Joe Lieberman may be trying to pump up support for John McCain among American Jews and even those in Israel, but a national poll out yesterday showed Hillary Clinton drawing roughly 60% support among Israelis — and Obama just about 20%. Preference for Democrats over Republicans was huge in the poll — and John McCain was third in preference behind Clinton and Obama. What is interesting is that in my meetings in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this week, the…

<em>Guest Post by Anya Landau French</em>: No Magic Cuba Policy



Anya Landau French joined the Lexington Institute in February 2008 as a Senior Fellow, focusing on U.S.-Cuban affairs. With the anti-climactic departure of Fidel Castro from power in Cuba, it appears that the United States plans to hurry up and continue waiting for change in Cuba. The waiting may soon be over. Today, twenty-four U.S. senators, led by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), wrote to Secretary Rice (for letter click here) — as did…

Obama’s Hearing Problem



In December, I did some research into how Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each used legislative machinery at their disposal in the Senate to get some sense of their “executive abilities”. For some reason, I expected Hillary Clinton to be too busy for things like subcommittee hearings and Obama to be drilling in and learning as much as he could because his experience in federal level legislative affairs might be perceived as weak. I found the opposite — and discovered…

Delegate Gridlock & The Myth of the Surge



I’m in Israel and Palestine through Saturday — and am finding some interesting stuff on the internet as I fight jet lag. First of all, Slate has a fascinating Delegate Counter that allows one to go through all of the states left in the Democratic primary process and plug in assumptions about performance. It distributes the delegates — and then kicks out totals. I may be doing something wrong — but I can’t seem to get either Clinton or Obama…