Michael Tomasky in The Daily Beast on the reasons for Gingrich Recent polls now show Newt Gingrich leading the list of candidates for the Republican nomination. "[T]his goes deeper than discontent with Romney. These voters want to blow up the Republican Party -- and someday, they just might," Tomasky writes. Tomasky gives the many reasons Gingrich would never win an election, let alone the nomination, including his political and marital baggage, and his history of reversing positions on climate change and financial reform. Tomasky says part of his popularity has to do with Romney's flaws, but he also wonders if Gingrich is currently filling the role of the super conservative that Rick Perry gave up when he took a stand on immigration. "[T]hese Republican voters really do seem like people who collectively would accept losing next year if it means they can drag the party farther to the right and win in 2016 with a purist," Tomasky says.
Jeffrey Goldberg in Bloomberg View on Israel and Obama's open mic incident Unknowingly speaking into a live microphone with French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week, Barack Obama revealed frustrations with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That moment "revealed two mistaken interpretations of Middle East politics that could have grim consequences as the conflict over Iran's nuclear program moves to a boil," Goldberg writes. The first comes from critics of Obama who equate his dislike of Netanyahu with a lack of support for the Jewish state, a conclusion the PM's domestic opponents would likely resist. Second, this incident comes at a moment when Israel's relationship with the U.S. will be tested anyway by the response to the Iranian nuclear program. Israel could strike without U.S. approval which would strain the relationship and probably cause Iranian retaliation against American resources. "It's desperately important for the U.S. president and the Israeli prime minister to build between them a minimum level of trust. Open mics don't help," Goldberg writes.