Chris Cilizza turns out copy galore for political junkies at his Washington Post venue The Fix. Here is his take on what he inaptly refers to as the Knesset kerfuffle. Regarding Bush’s condemnation of the appeasement of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, Cilizza asserts: “Make no mistake: This was a pre-planned strategy by the Bush campaign to re-inject foreign policy into the presidential campaign in a way that many Republicans believe will ultimately be beneficial to McCain.” There are only two problems with this sentence. Bush isn’t running a campaign. And Cilizza offers no evidence whatsover to support the proposition that Bush’s statement was pretextual. I conclude that this is a sorry performance deserving of a fix of another kind.
PAUL adds: Ambinder’s “supporting background” is weak. It consists of analysis “laundered through the brains” of an NBC reporter and a CNN reporter. They say they were told by White House staffers that when the president criticized the views of those who want to negotiate with radicals and terrorists, he was referring to anyone who has suggested engaging with Hamas. But Obama hasn’t suggested engaging with Hamas. Rather, he says he opposes this.
Thus, the “evidence” Ambinder cites does not support Cillizza’s claim that President Bush was trying to inject foreign policy into the political campaign or Ambinder’s similar but more aggressive claim that Bush was taking a shot at Obama. If anything, the White House staffer’s focus on Hamas suggests that if Bush had a particular target, that target was Jimmy Carter.