Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Clinton and Sharon

I just got it !

The insight came form this very perceptive article in the New York Times.

Hillary Clinton is channelling Ariel Sharon. (Can you channel someone who is still alive- albeit in a vegetative state?)

In the Israeli election of 2001, which Sharon won handily, many Israelis voted for Sharon, not despite the fact that he was an SOB (a "junk yard dog" in Israeli parlance), but precisely because he was an SOB.

"He may be an SOB", went the popular idiom. "But he is our SOB," his supporters said with admiration, if not pride.

Israel lives in a tough neighbourhood, and in the midst of the intefada Israelis decided what they needed was not someone thoughtful, or creative, or honest, or farsighted. What they felt they needed was someone fiercely loyal and meaner and tougher than the other side.

That’s the card that Hillary is trying to play: whether "the other side" is Iran or the Republicans.

By this standard, Obama - the thoughtful, strategic, negotiator looking at the long term - doesn't have a chance. But then maybe America today are not Israel in 2001.


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