Michael Kinsley once memorably defined a “gaffe” as what happens “when a politician tells the truth.”
Barack Obama has committed a gaffe, telling Jewish leaders in Cleveland:
This is where I get to be honest, and I hope I’m not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel, and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we’re not going to make progress. And frankly, some of the commentary that I’ve seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is nonmilitary or non-belligerent or doesn’t talk about just crushing the opposition, that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we’re going to have problems moving forward. And that, I think, is something we have to have an honest dialogue about.
Hillary Clinton definitely has an opening at tonight’s debate. And I’ve worked in my second Michael Kinsley reference in one day.