The Tim Kaine For Vice President campaign got a media boost this week when the junior Senator from Virginia took the brave politically motivated stance of refusing to attend next week’s address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress. Why is Kaine suddenly so bullish against Israel?
I believe the timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress — just days before Israeli elections — is highly inappropriate…
“Just as we would resent another nation openly attempting to influence an American election, Congress should not give the appearance that we are engaging in such activity.”
You may need to talk to Secretary Kerry about that, Senator. Especially since the State Department is funding efforts of Obama’s former campaign team to beat Netanyahu in the Israeli elections on March 17th.
But let’s talk about the timing.
Netanyahu is scheduled to speak to Congress on March 3rd, three weeks before the March 24th deadline for a political framework to come out of talks between the United States, Iran and other powers concerning Iran’s nuclear program — a deadline set by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. A deadline Senate Democrats recognize as the time after which new sanctions will be considered against Iran.
And that’s if the Obama Administration doesn’t move the goal posts and change the deadline again.
At what point is Congress supposed to become fully informed of the threat a nuclear Iran poses to Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East, the entire region and American interests abroad and at home? After the Obama Administration bargains away any position of authority by March 24th?
Tim Kaine isn’t taking a principled stand here. He’s taking a politically calculated stand to turn his back on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel while the United States lets Iran dictate the terms of a nuclear agreement.
People are noticing. No one is taking a step back and going “Gosh, what a bold move! What a strong leader!” No. They’re saying, “hey, that guy wants to be veep.”
Why does it matter? Democrats frequently cite Kaine as a strong contender to fill out the party’s 2016 presidential ticket. In a conversation just this week, one Democratic congressman from a red state brought up Kaine with no prompting, pointing out that he’d 1) won in a purple state, 2) spoke fluent Spanish, 3) was Catholic, and 4) if elected, would be replaced by the pick of Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. (That would be a major advantage over a pick like Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown; if elected to the vice presidency, he’d give Republican Governor John Kasich the chance to replace him.)
This isn’t leadership. This is politics. And it could have some damning consequences for Israel, the Middle East, and America.