'Now I'm Going to Offer You a Hamburger'

By Jeffrey Goldberg

I'm traveling overseas, so posting will be light, but a few quick things:

1)  I want to play poker with Sheldon Adelson.

2) The Atlantic has excellent post-election coverage. You should read it all.

3)  I asked Ron Brownstein via Twitter if Romney could have saved himself with Hispanic voters by making Marco Rubio his running mate. Ron, who is the world's leading expert on the Hispanic vote, said that Romney probably finished himself for good when he suggested that immigrants self-deport.

4) Is this is a mandate? A negative mandate, maybe. If the Republicans had managed not to alienate Hispanics, and managed not to provoke a 13th-century debate about rape, Romney might have won, and the Senate would have more Republicans.

5) Smart move, Indiana Republicans, ditching Richard Lugar, one of the finest senators of the past 50 years, and replacing him with a schmuck as a Republican nominee. (I know I promised Sister Mary I wouldn't use the word "schmuck" as an epithet anymore, but I can't help myself sometimes.)

6) There are people in my Twitter feed, and in my in-box, who think that Chris Christie is some sort of Democratic plant. Apparently, Dick Morris is blaming Christie for Romney's loss. Ridiculous, but then again, there's this: If Romney had shown an ability to connect emotionally with middle-class people and their problems, he would have had a fighting chance. Chris Christie is one of those Republicans who actually knows how to connect, as he has shown over the past difficult week in New Jersey. So: You can blame Chris Christie for not teaching Romney how to be more like Chris Christie, I guess.

7) Speaking of my in-box, I found this gem earlier from one Reed Rubinstein:

Well done. When Iran nukes Tel Aviv and leaves Israel a smoking ruin,
as Obama and the rest of you sit by in faux anguish (the real risk to
peace, after all, are apartments in Har Homa (a neighborhood built on land taken in 1967 by Israel), perhaps you'll find time for tshuva (repentance) while you wait in line for your free Obamacare or at your next Springsteen concert.

I understand that Obamacare death panels will soon be meeting at Springsteen concerts, as his fan base ages.

I'm not sure what motivates Mr. Rubinstein, but if he actually thinks that Jews who supported Barack Obama don't care about Israel's safety, then he hasn't been listening to his fellow Jews, or to Obama. I'll have more on what Obama's second-term holds for the Iran, and for Middle East peacemaking, in a later post. But: There's no reason to think that Obama will fundamentally alter the U.S. relationship with Israel now that he's won reelection, for two reasons: 1) Congress, and the American public, won't let him; 2) He's not actually anti-Israel, but pro-Israel (read this for my definition of what a pro-Israel president looks like), so why would he? I don't imagine Obama actually paying that much attention to Israel (to the peace process, and to settlements, specifically) in the near future. He saw Bill Clinton end his second term in utter frustration over the peace process.

8) This video, of Benjamin Netanyahu congratulating Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel (btw, mazel tov, Dan, on keeping your job) is just super-awkward, and I love Netanyahu's closing line: "Now I'm going to offer you a hamburger."


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/11/now-im-going-to-offer-you-a-hamburger/264898/