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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/08/2012

Morning Bits

A telling gift from Bibi Netanyahu to the president: The book of Esther. “There are only two possible interpretations of Netanyahu’s words and deeds: Either he is the world’s greatest bluffer, or he has set himself on a course to prevent a second Holocaust. Obama has marshaled some very strong arguments against precipitous action against Iran. But I hope he understands that, with Netanyahu, the Megillah was the message.”

Obama keeps saying there is time for sanctions to work. The facts keep telling us the opposite: “Diplomats say spy satellite images of an Iranian military facility show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at the site that indicate crews were trying to clean it of radioactive traces. Two of the diplomats told The Associated Press that those traces could have come from what they said was the testing of a small neutron trigger used to set off a nuclear explosion.”

Whatever Rick Santorum and his advisers are telling themselves, the math is pretty definitive. “Romney now has 415, Santorum 176, Gingrich 105, Paul 47 (and drop-out Huntsman 2). 1,144 are needed for the nomination. . . . [F]or Santorum or Gingrich to eventually catch up and pass Romney, one of them will need to take two-thirds of the delegates yet to be selected, an almost impossible task unless Romney commits a really major mistake. . . . Barring a major mistake or other unforeseeable development, I think Romney won the nomination [Tuesday] night.”

That’s what the Romney people are telling reporters: Follow the math. “The senior aides here delivered a clinical state-by-state dissertation on the impossibility of either Santorum or Gingrich reaching the 1,144-delegate threshold to win the nomination. While Romney, they said, needs to win only 48 percent of remaining delegates, Santorum would have to carry 65 percent of what’s left and Gingrich 70 percent.”

I don’t know what sort of fundraising problems they are having, but what David Axelrod is telling us makes no sense. “President Obama’s reelection campaign said Wednesday that the prolonged Republican primary is hurting its fundraising. Obama’s campaign team said the GOP fight in general is good for Obama, but chief strategist David Axelrod said it isn’t the best for filling Obama’s coffers.” You mean the president’s stellar record isn’t compelling all by itself?

What the administration is telling us now is that military action is not entirely off the table — in Syria. “The nation’s top military leader said Wednesday that U.S. was considering ‘all possible additional steps’ including ‘potential military options’ in Syria, but stressed the administration was focused on ‘diplomatic and political approaches rather than a military intervention.’”

Now Democrats are telling Obama not to get snookered. “If the Obama administration wants to enter new talks with Iran, that’s fine -- but they had better keep ramping up the pressure on the Islamic Republic during negotiations and not trade sanctions for piecemeal concessions from the Iranians, 12 U.S. senators said Wednesday.”

The French are telling him the same thing. “France voiced scepticism on Wednesday that a revival of talks between six world powers and Iran would succeed, saying Tehran did still not seem sincerely willing to negotiate about the future of its nuclear program.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/08/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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