McPeak vs. Clark (vs. George H.W. Bush)


The Clinton campaign was reportedly very quick to send around (although not to JTA) Robert Goldberg’s American Spectator piece on Gen. Tony McPeak. Goldberg took aim at a 2003 interview in which the Obama adviser suggested that pro-Israel voters in Miami and New York were to blame for the failure of the U.S. to do more to advance the peace process, and asserted that concern for Israel led some people to press for the Iraq war.

Well, maybe the Clinton people who sent out the anti-McPeak piece should have done a quick Nexis search about their own campaign’s most prominent general, Wesley Clark. The Hillary booster found himself in the middle of a similar controversy last year, after he reportedly offered the following explanation to the HuffingtonPost for why America would consider bombing Iran: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press,” Clark said. “The Jewish community is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”

Here’s what McPeak said: “New York City. Miami. We have a large vote – vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.”

Obama’s campaign has put out a statement saying he disagrees with McPeak on this stuff. Just sent the Clark quote over to the Clinton campaign.

Along similar lines, as I noted a few weeks ago, now that the presidential campaign has moved to Pennsylvania, it’s a good time to find out if Clinton thinks that her big Keystone State backer, Gov. Ed Rendell, made a mistake by inviting Louis Farrakhan to town and playing nice with the Nation of Islam leader (to boot, Rendell ripped Jewish leaders who objected).

Of course, McCain folks shouldn’t feel so comfortable. As long as we’re playing this game… McCain’s most prominent Jewish booster, Joe Lieberman, drew fire for saying he respected the Farrakhan and expressing a desire to meet with Farrakhan; and the presumptive Republican nominee has been endorsed by the first President Bush, who famously declared that he was just “one lonely little guy” up against 1,000 pro-Israel lobbyists.

(Just to keep this all in perspective, I recently received an e-mail from AIPAC boasting of the words of support it has received from all three of the remaining presidential candidates. It’s hard to imagine a similar mailing touting support from, say, Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan.)

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