Initial Reactions to Obama's Speech

I've been on the Twitter Machine rather manically for me  -- @goldberg3000 in case you care -- but here are a couple of notions:

  1. Denis McDonough, the deputy national security adviser, just told Andrea Mitchell that the President is very much looking forward to meeting with Netanyahu tomorrow. I don't think the White House needs to spin quite that hard;
  2. Some people who are unhappy with this speech: The Saudis, who cannot believe, I am sure, that the President had the temerity to stand up for Bahrain's Shi'a (and all oppressed Shi'a, by extension): Bibi Netanyahu is also not overly thrilled, I think, but also not shocked or upset. The 1967 lines have always been the basis of negotiations -- this is not new. But I'm sure Bibi doesn't appreciate lectures about challenges to Israel's democratic and Jewish nature. I hope he's listening, though.
  3. It would have been nice to hear the President call for Bashar al-Assad's ouster. But this will come.
  4. The speech had a neoconnish feel. It was not a speech extolling stability.
  5. Egypt's getting a lot of money.
More ideas to come. 
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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