Leaked emails from March 18, 2015, show Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta asking political commentator Paul Begala if he “[has] a take” on “Israel other than the obvious.” Begala in turn describes Netanyahu's manic push to the right of the ideological spectrum in the days leading up to the Israeli elections, and likens it to political attitudes in the United States, which he says are “moving the US left.”
From: John Podesta [[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 11:24 AM
To: Begala, Paul
Subject: Got a take
On Israel other than the obvious?
To: [email protected]
Date: 2015-03-18 13:33
Subject: RE: Got a take
Just as patterns of immigration are moving the US left, patterns of immigration are moving Israel right. I have never seen anything like Bibi's furious surge to the right in the last 4 days. Nothing like it in America. He had robo-calls calling the President "Hussein Obama, the Muslim," he had ads saying the Arabs will vote in droves. He accused Herzog of wanting to divide Jerusalem. Bibi did not win because of Iran. He won because of race. He cannibalized the smaller parties on the right: Bennett's Jewish Home lost 4 seats, Shas lost 4 seats, Lieberman's party lost 5 seats, United Torah lost 1. That is a 14 seat decline on the right. Bibi gained 10.
The guy to watch is Moshe Kahlon. Slightly more moderate than Bibi, formed his own party and took 10 seats. Might have done better but Bibi doctored an endorsement Kahlon gave him two years ago and made it look like it happened two days before the election.
All the smart guys in Tel Aviv thought Bibi was having a nervous breakdown. In the US you could never get away with those kind of racist appeals. But, man, did it work.
On our side, we focused on trying to hold down Lapid's Yesh Atid, but never really attacked him - a mistake. We also did zero rallies in the final days - Buji doesn't like them and he is not a rah-rah guy. This gave all the bandwagon effect to Bibi.
I am still half-wasted from my hospital stay, and am deeply depressed that I failed such a good guy in such a big race.