MADDOW: And so, you have the opportunity to say John McCain, George Bush, you're wrong. You also have the opportunity to say, conservatism has been bad for America. But, you haven't gone there either. OBAMA: I tell you what though, Rachel. You notice, I think we're winning right now soMaddow, the leftwing liberal, wanted to get an ideological criticism of Republicanism and Conservatism out of Obama's mouth. She wanted the guy with the most liberal voting record in Congress to stand up and say, "I am a proud liberal." But Obama won't do it. He says that he wants to transcend ideologies and partisanship. But he also says that the American people don't like that sort of politics. And that he is winning with this strategy. Is it just a strategy? Who knows? But I, for one, will be very surprised if Dennis Ross returns to the Israel-Palestinian negotiations. For all I know, Ross isn't himself interested. But let's face it -- he has burned himself with his post-Camp David behavior and writing. Ross is a very proud liberal Zionist -- the last person one wants to negotiate an Israel-Palestinian deal. He was a mistake from the beginning, but the mistake got worse and worse. I have blogged here before about how the only person who could represent the Palestinian point of view at Camp David was the Arabic interpreter. Obama -- and his advisors -- are too smart, I hope, to repeat that mistake. So does Akiva Eldar, who wrote in Haaretz a few days ago:
The change also must be seen in the makeup of the American team helping to formulate the peace agreements and in an assertive enforcement of old commitments. The recycling of advisers like Dennis Ross is more of the same. His deputy, Aaron Miller, wrote in his most recent book that Ross (recently the president of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute) complained that the Israelis see him as the Palestinians' defense attorney. According to Miller, none of the high-ranking American officials who dealt with negotiations has been willing or able to present the Palestinian perspective, much less fight for itSo I think that Ross will have a role in the Obama administration. But if I were Obama, I wouldn't put him anywhere near Israel, or even Iran. Ross has a top-notch mind, and his grasp of details is extraordinary. How can Obama fail to be impressed with him? I sure as heck am. But keep Ross away from Israel. We don't need any more fashlas like Camp David. And we don't need any more liberal Zionists representing the United States of America in Middle East peace talks.