Mitt & Bibi: An Unpromising Accident of Biography
April 08, 2012, 07:23 AM
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Trying to guess what Mitt Romney really thinks about anything can be a full time operation, especially when it comes to foreign policy, because of Mitt's rather insular career. 

I had hoped that the personal key to Mitt's foreign policy was how his father George Romney had scuttled his run for the 1968 GOP nomination by saying that he had supported the Vietnam War after his 1965 visit to that country because he'd been "brainwashed" by the brass and diplomats. Mitt's sister says that from this incident, Mitt learned never to say anything too clearly. I had hoped that he had also learned from his beloved father to be skeptical about the conventional wisdom. 

An NYT article today reveals that there might be another personal key to Mitt's foreign policy: 

But in 1976, the lives of Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu intersected, briefly but indelibly, in the 16th-floor offices of the Boston Consulting Group, where both had been recruited as corporate advisers. At the most formative time of their careers, they sized each other up during the firm’s weekly brainstorming sessions, absorbing the same profoundly analytical view of the world. 

That shared experience decades ago led to a warm friendship, little known to outsiders, that is now rich with political intrigue. Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, is making the case for military action against Iran as Mr. Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, is attacking the Obama administration for not supporting Mr. Netanyahu more robustly. 

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.

Uh, oh. 

I'm a big admirer of Bibi. The main problem I see with Bibi is that he happens to play for a different team. And he already has no shortage of boosters and rooters on our team pushing him and his team forward at our team's expense. We don't really need Bibi, with all of his other advantages, having a special backdoor friendship with the President of the United States in which he can exert his energetic personal magnetism over Mitt's Mormon blandness.

It's like if somebody was interviewing to be the next coach of the Indianapolis Colts and he mentioned that he frequently had long, heartfelt talks with Bill Belichik of the New England Patriots. I don't know, maybe that would work out well ...