I think we're going to have to revise that storyline about President Obama's neglect of big donors. George Soros may not be able to get a White House meeting. But Haim Saban - the deep-pocketed Democratic donor who supported Hillary Clinton to the bitter end in 2008 - has an op-ed today in the New York Times endorsing Obama on pro-Israel grounds ... on the very day after the Democratic platform slighted Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Nicely played, and the culmination of a courtship that featured a White House meeting earlier in 2012 and a July commitment by Saban of $1 million to Democratic super-PACs. The Hollywood Reporter explains how Obama charmed Saban.
When push comes to shove this year, much of Hollywood will support the president. But for Haim Saban, it took a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office with Presdent Obama. “I will tell you that we had a very good meeting,” Saban says. “I relayed my concerns. In my mind, the president was very classy. He didn’t ask me for anything. We talked about policy, the economy, what’s going on around the world. I thought to myself that it was time to get active again.”
Ask any senior Israeli official involved in national security, and he will tell you that the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel has never been stronger than under President Obama. “I can hardly remember a better period of American support and backing, and Israeli cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us,” the defense minister, Ehud Barak, said last year, “than what we have right now.”
That cooperation has included close coordination by intelligence agencies — including the deployment of cyberweapons, as recent news reports have revealed — to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Mr. Romney conveniently neglects to mention that Mr. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, diverted American attention from Iran — the greatest threat to Israel’s existence — to Iraq, even helping to put a pro-Iranian leader in power in Baghdad. In contrast, through painstaking diplomacy, Mr. Obama persuaded Russia and China to support harsh sanctions on Iran, including an arms embargo and the cancellation of a Russian sale of advanced antiaircraft missiles that would have severely complicated any military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Mr. Obama secured European support for what even Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called “the most severe and strictest sanctions ever imposed on a country.”
Mr. Romney has never explained how he would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; Mr. Obama not only has declared that all options are on the table, but he has also taken the option of merely “containing” a nuclear-armed Iran off the table. He has directed the military to prepare options for confronting Iran and has positioned forces in the Persian Gulf to demonstrate his resolve.
The haunting question remaining: If you feel so strongly, Mr. Saban, why only the ONE million dollars?