Did I mention that Herman Cain is not a legitimate candidate for president?
Last week, you may recall, Cain refused to reveal what his policy would be toward Afghanistan. We’ve been fighting there for almost a decade; more than 100,000 American soldiers are putting their lives on the line as we sit here, and Cain, a man who criticizes President Obama for not having a clear foreign policy, says he doesn’t want to “shoot from the lip” by suggesting what course this country should take next.
He says that once elected, he would talk to the experts and generals and come up with a plan about what to do. As I noted at the time, it’s the kind of answer Miss South Carolina might give in the beauty pageant Q&A. In fact, such a lack of preparation is downright disrespectful. Cain is offering himself as a potential commander in chief and asking people to take him seriously, yet the issue of American troops fighting and dying in a far-off land for almost a decade simply hasn’t been important enough to him to justify study and thought.
And then there’s this:
In his announcement speech Saturday, Cain accused President Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus.” On Sunday, Fox News put Cain on the air, sitting him down for an interview with Chris Wallace:
Cain has clearly never encountered the term “right of return,” a phrase familiar to anyone who has done even 20 minutes of research into the Middle East conundrum. He does not know that the Palestinian claim of a “right of return,” if implemented, would mean hundreds of thousands if not millions of Palestinians now living elsewhere would be allowed to return to live in what is now the heart of Israel. He proudly claims that he would offer the Palestinians nothing, yet in saying that the right of return is something to be negotiated, he offers them everything, right down to the destruction of Israel. Yet in that ignorance, he feels qualified to assert what he calls “the Cain doctrine” regarding the Middle East.
I’m sorry. You forfeit any claim as a legitimate candidate if you do not even know what the term “right of return” means. As with the Afghanistan issue, it reflects not merely a lack of knowledge, but even worse, a basic lack of interest and respect for the high office that he seeks and for the voters who support him.
Cain talks a lot about his business career. Well, any job candidate who walked into an interview as proudly ill-prepared as Cain would be bounced out the door immediately.
– Jay Bookman
UPDATE: Cain has issued the following “clarification”:
“Stockbridge, GA)- In an interview this morning on FOX News Sunday with Christopher Wallace, Herman Cain addressed the issue of “right of return” for the country of Israel. In clarification of these remarks, Mr. Cain released the following statement:
I have long been a vocal and unwavering supporter of our friend and ally, Israel.
All Israeli governments have rejected the “right” of large numbers of Arabs or Palestinians to return to what is now the state of Israel. Such an en masse return would unbalance Israel’s demographic makeup as the world’s sole Jewish state.
In this light, should the “right of return” “be negotiated,” as I said, “if that is a decision that Israel wants to make”? Certainly, and to reiterate, it’s Israel’s call. Israel has a long record of being more gracious to its enemies than its enemies are to it, and this would be yet another example of that. But is the “right of return” a moral imperative? Is it something Israel must grant? Is it something the United States ought to encourage?
The answer is no on every count.
Our policy on Palestinian affairs must be wholly a function of our policy on Israeli affairs. Israel is a friend. Israel is an ally. Israel shares common values with us. Israel shares common interests with us, especially in the eradication of terrorism and the need for bringing peace to the region. As President, I will never lose sight of these basic facts. Any aspirant to the Presidency must have the unshakable US-Israeli alliance at the core of his or her strategic vision in the Middle East.
As your President, I would. “