Netanyahu and Romney
It never ends; many of you read the frightening article in the New York Times over the weekend by Michael Barbaro, describing the close relationship between Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu, forged in business 35 years ago.
Only a few weeks ago, on Super Tuesday, Mr. Netanyahu delivered a personal briefing by telephone to Mr. Romney about the situation in Iran.
“We can almost speak in shorthand,” Mr. Romney said in an interview.
How many other heads of state of countries of several million people get this kind of access? After Romney and Gingrich sparred in debate about who could be more responsive to Israel, Democratic Israel lobbyist Martin Indyk comments that Romney would “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel.” Meantime, Netanyahu is reported to have signalled Romney that he had nothing to do with his other good friend Sheldon Adelson giving millions to Newt Gingrich in December.
The relationship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Romney — nurtured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem, strengthened by a network of mutual friends and heightened by their conservative ideologies — has resulted in an unusually frank exchange of advice and insights on topics like politics, economics and the Middle East.
In a telling exchange during a debate in December, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Gingrich for making a disparaging remark about Palestinians, declaring: “Before I made a statement of that nature, I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: ‘Would it help if I say this? What would you like me to do?’ “
…Martin S. Indyk, a United States ambassador to Israel in the Clinton administration, said that whether intentional or not, Mr. Romney’s statement implied that he would “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel.”
..Mr. Netanyahu was startled in January by an article exploring why Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino executive and outspoken supporter of Israel, was devoting millions of dollars to back Mr. Gingrich. It described Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Adelson as close friends.
Mr. Netanyahu’s office quickly relayed a message to a senior Romney adviser, Dan Senor: the prime minister had played no role in Mr. Adelson’s decision to bankroll a Romney rival.
Oh and here is Boston Magazine’s 2003 list of 100 women who run this town. #7 is Orit Gadiesh at Bain, Romney’s former shop (h/t Scott McConnell):
Orit Gadiesh 52, Chair, Bain & Company She stands over 6 feet tall in heels. She worked in military intelligence in her native Israel. And she runs one of the world’s largest, most elite business-consulting firms, with big-hitter clients like De Beers, ITT, and Dell. Twelve years ago, Gadiesh succeeded Mitt Romney as head of what was once called the KGB of consulting firms. Given her connections to the governor, it was no surprise when he named her to his transition team. Gadiesh was one of only two Bostonians listed the last time Fortune magazine published its female power list in 2000.