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Romney has friends in all the right places

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Netanyahu and Romney
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.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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12 Responses

  1. tombishop on April 9, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Steve Kornacki at Salon has an important insight into the Romney/Neanyahu story:

    “There are those who will say the relationship raises the question of whether Romney, who has hewed to the Netanyahu line on Iran and other Middle East issues throughout the campaign, might as president be excessively deferential to his old colleague. But this misses the point, because even if there was no longstanding personal relationship between them, Romney – both as a candidate and as president – would have a clear political incentive to align himself with Netanyahu: It’s what the base of his party wants and expects its leaders to do.

    Maybe this has something to do with why Romney chose to cooperate with the story. Consider his political predicament right now. He’s almost certainly going to be the Republican nominee, but a major component of the party’s base – white evangelical Christians – is still refusing to join the bandwagon. This has stretched out the nominating process and resulted in some very embarrassing nights for Romney. If evangelical resistance doesn’t dissipate soon, he could continue to suffer primary losses through May and June, even as he moves inexorably toward the 1,144-delegate mark.

    There are two dominant theories about why the Christian right isn’t wild about Romney. One holds that conservative evangelicals tend to care the most about cultural topics like abortion and homosexuality and are thus more likely to be bothered by the liberal positions Romney took back in his Massachusetts days, and skeptical of his conversion story. The other holds that they don’t want to vote for a Mormon.

    But Israel is also a huge issue for evangelical Republicans, who share Netanyahu’s hawkish, settler-friendly views and ardently support him in his battles with the Obama administration. Playing up a decades-old relationship with him represents a rare opportunity for Romney to demonstrate natural common ground with skeptical evangelicals.

    It’s also another chance to ingratiate himself with one of the Republican Party’s top fund-raisers, Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who’s poured more than $10 million into Newt Gingrich’s political efforts. Adelson, a Netanyahu ally whose political activity is driven by his views on Israel, has indicated that he’ll back Romney against Obama, but continues to take shots at the former Massachusetts governor. This is one of the new realities of the super PAC era: It’s conceivable that a candidate like Romney could be aiming his public actions at an audience of just one billionaire.”

    Mitt’s mandatory friendship
    Even if they didn’t have a 36-year relationship, he’d be joined at the hip with Benjamin Netanyahu

    Be sure to check the links, including this dated, but important for background, article:
    Why does Mike Huckabee love Israel so much?
    Because of the Antichrist

    • annie on April 9, 2012, 3:06 pm

      The other holds that they don’t want to vote for a Mormon.

      according to evangelicals mormonism goes against : the historic doctrine of the Church

      allegedly in rick warren’s easter sermon he adressed mormonism:

      Mormonism has become a controversial topic with the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney. The “key sticking point,” for many Christians regarding whether Mormons share their faith is the trinity, according to Warren.

      “That’s the historic doctrine of the Church. That God is three-in-one. Not three Gods. One God in Father, son and Holy Spirit. Mormonism denies that.”

      When asked if he believes that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, Warren answered, “I do believe that, and I believe that because Jesus said it. See, I don’t set myself up as an authority. Jesus said, ‘I am the way.’ He didn’t say, ‘I’m one of the ways,’ he said, ‘I’m the way, I’m the truth and I’m the life.’ I’m betting my life that Jesus wasn’t a liar.”

      and here’s the video of the interview:

    • lysias on April 9, 2012, 3:25 pm

      Mitt Romney taps foreign policy, national security advisers (Oct. 6, 2011).

      The advisers: Cofer Black, Christopher Burnham, Michael Chertoff, Eliot Cohen, John Danilovich, Paula Dobriansky, Eric Edelman, Michael Hayden, Kerry Healey, Kim Holmes, Robert Joseph, Robert Kagan, John Lehman, Walid Phares, Pierre Prosper, Mitchell Reiss, Daniel Senor, Jim Talent, Vin Weber, Richard Williamson, and Dov Zakheim.

  2. Kathleen on April 9, 2012, 1:49 pm

    I believe Max Boot and Kagan are Romney foreign policy advisers. Romney is going to give Obama a run for that spot. Obama had better giddy up and get some of those sub prime and foreclosure fraudsters prosecuted, take it down a notch with Iran or there will not be enough of a distinction between him and Romney once he pivots back closer to his record

    • lysias on April 9, 2012, 3:31 pm

      Yes, the Washington Post article I linked to above does list Robert Kagan as one of Romney’s foreign policy advisers as of last October. That article doesn’t mention Max Boot, but Boot’s own Website says that he is “currently serving as a defense policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign.”

  3. libra on April 9, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Bibi: “Who’s this Mormon twit?”

    Off-camera aide: “A useful idiot, sir.”

  4. DICKERSON3870 on April 9, 2012, 4:02 pm

    RE: “Given her [Orit Gadiesh’s] connections to the governor, it was no surprise when he named her to his transition team.” ~ Boston Magazine

    ALSO SEE: Mitt Romney’s Ties to Israeli Military Intelligence – condensed from (Christopher Bollyn), Jan 12 2012

    (excerpt) Mitt Romney’s support from the Crown family, which is closely tied to the state of Israel and its military intelligence agencies, is most likely based on his decades of working with the management consulting firm Bain & Company, which is headed by Orit Gadiesh, an Israeli military intelligence agent. Orit Gadiesh served on Romney’s transition team when he became governor of Massachusetts. Romney’s close relationship with Orit Gadiesh and Israeli military intelligence is the real reason he is the chosen candidate of the Zionist establishment. . .

    Source – source –

  5. Justice Please on April 9, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Easy solution, folks.

    Support Ron Paul for the Republican nomination. No wars for Israel, no vetoing shit at the UN.

    • Citizen on April 9, 2012, 6:30 pm

      I agree, Justice Please. Other than Ron Paul, the rest of them are all like incestuous hillbillies with Israel.

  6. Fredblogs on April 9, 2012, 8:22 pm

    I wouldn’t get your knickers in too much of a twist. Romney will get the nomination because he is the least insane of the Republican candidates, but he is going to lose in the general. 6 months more of upswing in the economy, plus the caterpillar vote will put Obama over the top. Romney will be lucky if he does better than McCain in the general election.

  7. CloakAndDagger on April 9, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Romney may get the Republican nomination. They have cheated enough at the polls with the help of a complicit MSM – but he wil never be the president of the US.

    I am voting for Ron Paul, even if I have to write him in, as are most Ron Paul supporters. There is not a snow ball’s chance in hell that he will get any of our votes. There are only 3 options before us:

    1. They nominate Dr. Paul – in which case he will defeat Obama
    2. Dr. Paul runs as a 3rd party candidate – he may or may not win, but Romney won’t
    3. Dr. Paul sits it out but we write him in. He won’t win, but neither will Romney

    If the Republican party gets its collective head out of its ass, it should realize that the only shot that they have at the presidency is #1 in the list above. They either allow Dr. Paul to run, or they can kiss the presidency goodbye.

  8. Citizen on April 11, 2012, 12:39 am

    CloakAndDagger–I’m for Ron Paul two, as I was in ’08. Our banking, monetary policy and foreign policy in the ME are ruining this country–not enough people see how huge these two mistakes are, how they affect everything else. I think it will take a near total collapse of the economy and WW3 before enough Americans wake up–we aren’t there yet.

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