Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Arkansas Shuttler?

When the campaign's over, my former colleague at the Nixon Center, Steve Clemons, thinks the Obama administration should redeploy Bubba:
"Bill Clinton is the only guy I can think of who is trusted and liked by all sides," Clemons told POLITICO. "He is the only guy I know who successfully wrestled and pushed Netanyahu to do what he wants to do. And Clinton has spectacular popularity in Israel and Obama doesn't."

The former president "has granular understanding of every deal and piece of the deal - behind the scenes stuff that has been distorted and reframed," Clemons continued. "No one has a better grasp, ... sees the opportunity and has the global stature to both cajole, seduce and embarrass" the parties towards an agreement.

And under that scenario, which Clemons concedes is a float though one influenced by some kibitzing on the peace process with Bill Clinton at an event last week, how would Obama control the force that is Bill Clinton?

"Why would you want to control him," Clemons responded. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict "has become a global fault line in the eyes of the world, and a manifestation of America's weakness today. It has far greater significance" strategically "than northern Ireland. My bet is this is one of several defining issues" for the U.S. and the Obama administration, Clemons continued.

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