Haaretz Headline: "...It was Romney's Voice but Netanyahu's Words"
There's a diary on the Recommended List (Netanhayu Already Dictating to RomneyPuppet. Opposition Meeting Cancelled Suddenly) that implies that Netanhayu was influential over the optics of Romney's visit to Israel. My jaw just dropped when I saw this headline from Haaretz on the Google News Feed:
The article goes on to explain that the audience for the speech was carefully chosen:
Romney's staff picked the 150 guests carefully. Religious American immigrants dominated the crowd; secular Jews and native-born Israelis were few and far between. Those present included Jewish-American millionaires, settler leaders like the former chairman of the Yesha Council of settlements Israel Harel, and former Netanyahu aides such as Dore Gold, Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Yoaz Hendel.
Romney read his speech from two teleprompters that were placed opposite the stage, but compared to Obama, Romney seemed gray and uncharismatic. Even from this hand-picked, extremely friendly audience, he wasn't able to extract thunderous applause.
The speech itself sounded as if it could have been written by Netanyahu's bureau. So it's no surprise that when the two met later for dinner, Netanyahu thanked him for his "support for Israel and Jerusalem."
Always cautious, ever calculating cost-benefits for every move he makes, how many votes does Romney think that he gained by making this speech?
For an excellent commentary on the potential ramifications of Romney's speech, please see addikell's diary:
This is what happens when a weak American leader is forced to make unnecessarily controversial remarks in order to project a sense of strength he or she doesn't naturally exude. They say things that they think will make them look informed (as in the case of Romney's blunders in London, including his outing of the secret service head). Or they say things they think will make them look hawkish (as he and his campaign did in Israel).
But it's actually this weakness masquerading as strength that always makes our world more dangerous. This is what happened with Bush after 911. A weak failed president had to project fake strength in order to shore up his political future, but in doing so he knowingly made the world far more dangerous.