You know whom Dennis Ross is - partisan Democrat, ex-Clintonista, Middle East peace factotum and until recently a major apologist for the Obama Administration on its Israel policy.
But apparently not any more. Having just left the Obama Administration as an adviser, he's let it be known he'll be sitting out the 2012 campaign:
Dennis Ross, a longtime diplomat and a key architect of the Oslo peace process under President Clinton—a man who worked for the Obama campaign during the 2008 Democratic primaries despite his previous loyalty to the Clintons—won’t be campaigning for Obama this time, Ross confirmed to The Daily Beast.
“I am the Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,” Ross said in an email on Friday. “The Washington Institute is a non-profit organization and I cannot do political work from here. When I acted for the campaign in 2008, I had to take a leave of absence to do so. Having only recently returned to the Institute, I cannot now again take a leave of absence.”
After his success stumping for Obama in the 2008 campaign, Ross went on to become a key Middle East policymaker, first at the State Department and later at the White House.
“Ambassador Ross was obviously the No. 1 pro-Israel surrogate for the Obama campaign in 2008,” said Josh Block, a former press aide for the Clinton administration and former top spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “The fact that after three years of working on Mideast policy side-by-side with the president, Ambassador Ross has decided to sit out this campaign, unlike other former top officials now at nonpartisan think tanks, will certainly be understood as a message of its own, intentionally or unintentionally.”
Back in 2008, Ross was a major asset for the campaign, and played a big part in fooling American Jews that Barack Obama's previous associations with rabidly anti-Israel figures meant nothing, and that it was just fine to pull the lever for him.
Things are different now, as Ross himself explained in a recent WAPO op-ed, albeit tres diplomatically.
The White House is going to be reduced to the likes J-Street gal Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to try and flim flam Jewish votes this time out.
What Ross is doing, of course, is pretty much what my rabid-Democrat-for- life parents did in 1980. He simply can't lie to himself the way he used to. And there may even be some well-deserved shame involved.He may not be able to vote for a pro Israel Republican, but he's not willing to support an anti-Israel Democrat.
Again, I urge American Jews to do the same...if you simply can't manage to vote for a pro-Israel Republican in November, at least don't vote to put an anti-Israel president back in the White House. Just don't vote for president.