DWS claim of Obama’s Jerusalem ardor — does it complicate matters?


Debbie Wasserman Schultz, on CNN today, insists that language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was reinserted into the Democratic Party platform solely at President Obama’s behest, that outrage (generated by Republicans) had nothing to do with it, that it was a "technical" error that got it left out.


David Frum (who is on the board of the group, the Republican Jewish Coalition, that set this fire ablaze ith its lightning quick before-and-after analysis), doesn’t buy it. If Jerusalem is so central to Obama’s vision, how did it not get in in the first place? As Frum notes, presidents have trusted surrogates in the room when platforms are drafted.

Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, pivots by pointing out disparities between Mitt Romney’s policies and his party’s platform, particularly on abortion; given Frum’s thesis about the importance of presidents (or candidates) in the process, Romney is either dissembling or weak, she suggests. Obama is the stronger leader who imposes his vision on the party.

It’s an effective pivot, but maybe not effective enough. This new Democratic spin serves only to sharpen the mystery of this thing: Now it’s a question of not only how could the DNC have stumbled on such a sensitive issue, but how could it have stumbled on an issue the party’s chairwoman insists is so close to the president’s heart?

It also may pose new problems for the president: White House officials have been clumsy in handling the question of whether Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, but the claim underpinning their pushback is correct: No president has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Now, however, that seems to matter less, given Wasserman Schultz’s report of the president’s commitment to the notion.

The mystery persists.

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