Barack Obama’s been getting a lot of of comparisons to Jesus lately – both positive (those buttons saying Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor) and derogatory (the Republican nickname for him is Messiah). But Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean came up with a completely original comparison for Obama this morning that no one had likely ever thought about before: Ariel Sharon.
Dean said the Democratic presidential nominee and the former Israeli prime minister share similar leadership qualities.
“Much as the United States needs the strong leadership Barack Obama gives us, Ariel Sharon turned out to be a strong leader,” he said, as he recalled a trip he took to the Jewish state just after Israel had pulled out of Gaza.
“In Israel and America, strong leaders make peace,” said Dean. “Only leaders who have the confidence to do what’s right, to make concessions if necessary” and “only leaders with strong self-confidence can do the things that need to be done.”
Dean also criticzed the Republican Jewish Coalition’s anti-Obama literature, calling it “despicable stuff” and telling the crowd that “you are the folks that can counteract” such “hate-based propaganda.”
Much of Dean’s speech was devoted to making the argument that the proper home for Jewish voters is in the Democratic Party. He said the “core of the relationship” between Democrats and Jews goes beyond just support for Israel to shared “humanitarian values.”