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Obama's Mitzvah at AIPAC

Now, here's a change we can believe in.

A mere 12 hours after claiming the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee yesterday -- and changed himself into an Israel hard-liner.

He promised $30 billion in military assistance for Israel. He declared that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force has "rightly been labeled a terrorist organization." He used terms such as "false prophets of extremism" and "corrupt" while discussing Palestinians. And he promised that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

Vowing to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon, the newly minted nominee apparent added: "I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally, Israel. Do not be confused."

How could they be confused? As a pandering performance, it was the full Monty by a candidate who, during the primary, had positioned himself to Hillary Clinton's left on matters such as Iran. Yesterday, Obama, who has generally declined to wear an American-flag lapel pin, wore a joint U.S.-Israeli pin, and even tried a Hebrew phrase on the crowd.

Read the whole Sketch

-- Dana Milbank

By Dana Milbank  | June 5, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
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If you want to talk about pandering, I think you ought to take a look at John McCain. He has pandered to the far right more than any candidate in history. He has twisted himself into a parody of a straight-talker -- let's just call it the Double Talk Express, shall we?

Of course, I know you press poodles love him too to actually look a t what he does, rather than what he says.

Posted by: disgusted | June 5, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Far be it from me to crow, but even I, a hillbilly (lapsed) Methodist, saw this coming. Sen. Obama has more to lose as the official nominee than he did as a mere candidate, and he needs to calm nervous pro-Israel voters, be they Jewish or Christian. Which are you being, Milbank--sarcastic, ironic, satiric--or did the hillbilly have better insight here than the sophisticated Washington insider?

Posted by: kttn | June 5, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Ironic, isn't it, that this comes just 2 days before the 41st anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

Posted by: Garak | June 5, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow, my neck hurts!! I have severe whiplash from that turnaround. I thought Obama's big promise was to "change" the way politics are done in Washington. This speech sure seems like "Washington speak" to me. And did you notice, not only was he wearing an American flag pin, he had on an Israeli pin. So now he is proving his patriotism to both countries. Oh boy, Hezzbolah, watch out, here he comes. Now, military action is on the table.

Posted by: brittainpl | June 5, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Lisa Tyler | June 6, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Obama has already lost the Middle East. Take a look at the daily news reportings from the region to see what I mean. He may not care about these reports, like his predecessors didn't care about the "Arab street." Fine. But Obama should give up the lofty dream of brokering a peace settelment. Obama will be pursue the same old policies and will end up frustrated like the rest. "Change we believe in" you say? Welcome to the Middle East!

Posted by: El Dorado | June 6, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama flip-flops again.

Posted by: Andrew | June 7, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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