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April 10, 2012

Three very quick comments on Santorum’s departure

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/three_very_quick_comments_on_santorums_departure_20120411/

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Rick Santorum announces the suspension of his bid for the Republican nomination, April 10, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Our Israel Factor panel was never overly generous with candidate Santorum - as you can ‎see in the graph below. The panel thought Santorum was too hawkish, too religious. ‎No one would doubt his support for Israel, but such support is apparently not enough. ‎

Anyway, Santorum’s departure caught me as I spend a short Pesach vacation ‎with my family on Israel’s northern border (with Lebanon). And as I watched the ‎news for a couple of minutes, three things came to mind:‎

‎1.‎ Those Jewish voters anguishing over the November vote no longer have the ‎‎“religious” reason (or excuse) not to opt for the Republican nominee. I don’t really ‎think many Jews will be voting for Romney, but one thing is clear: the GOP ‎eventually went with the candidate most acceptable to Jewish voters (Jewish voters ‎were not the reason for that, of course).‎

2.‎ With Santorum out and Gingrich no longer viable, the GOP message on some ‎issues will go back to being not much different than the message of the Democratic ‎Party. Romney, for example, never agreed to commit to moving the American ‎embassy to Jerusalem. When he was one of many candidates, his was one view ‎within a party in which other views seemed dominant. But now, it is clear that the ‎party is not committed to such a move. ‎

‎3.‎ Israelis have been very busy in recent days with their renewed appeal for the ‎release of spy Jonathan Pollard from an American jail. This is another issue on ‎which Romney would not commit. Apparently, speaking for Pollard is much easier ‎for former presidential candidates (McCain) - so maybe now is the time for ‎Santorum to speak his mind?‎


The Israel Factor: Romney vs. Santorum,  December, 2011-March, 2012

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