When in politics, one is often cautioned not to live and die by day-to-day opinion polling. However, one issue that President Barack Obama has spoken out on may haunt him come Election Day 2012.
On Tuesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, network contributor Pat Buchanan was asked by host Joe Scarborough what was so “jolting” about Obama’s proposal to go back to Israel’s 1967 borders in negotiating a settlement with Palestinians.
Buchanan insisted that the president’s position had been misrepresented, but explained that serious repercussions may come from his Israel policy speech and the subsequent visit by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“You know maybe it’s because he said them coldly, Joe,” Buchanan said. “But if you read what he said, I believe in this case the president has been badly misrepresented. But I also agree that, and maybe disagree with Gene [Robinson] a bit, I think the damage is real and it’s serious.”
Citing 2008 presidential election exit polling, Buchanan explained that the wide margin Obama had won the Jewish vote in the last election might not be there come 2012, and warned it could cost him Florida’s crucial 29 electoral votes.
“Barack Obama won the Jewish vote by 57 points – 78 to 21,” Buchanan explained. “That is enormous. That is about as high as it gets. What you’re going to get now I think because what Netanyahu did to him – basically dissed him right in the oval office, that he’s putting Israel at risk – I think that this, frankly this could cost Obama Florida and it’s certainly going to cost the Democratic Party a tremendous amount of money.”
Buchanan referred to real estate mogul and U.S. News and World Report editor Mort Zuckerman, who has suggested that some sections of the Jewish community have lost confidence in Obama.
“Mort Zuckerman who has been on our show, who is very wired-in to the Jewish community – they’re funds that will not be delivered in enormous amounts,” he said. “I think the president has been hurt fairly seriously politically here and he is simply not going to get the kind of Jewish vote or Jewish support in 2012 that he got in 2008.”