By Daniel Strieff
In accordance with newly declassified records, this booklet deals a provocative new research of President Jimmy Carter's political position in Arab-Israeli international relations. It analyzes the reflexive courting among household politics and overseas coverage, specifically the jobs performed through the media, public opinion and pro-Israel foyer teams.
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Extra info for Jimmy Carter and the Middle East: The Politics of Presidential Diplomacy
Style counts, but only inasmuch as it serves to complement substance. Caddell’s memo did not anticipate the president’s need to persuade the public to support his policies. Despite Carter’s campaign pledges, he did not consult with the American people about foreign policy. Rather, he informed them about his decisions. That may have represented greater openness than previous administrations, but without a commensurate political plan to capitalize on existing trends in US opinion, it did not improve his chances of success.
In a column, The Washington Post ’s David Broder noted “puzzlement” about Carter’s foreign policy: “The frequent ‘clarifications’ of comments from assorted foreign policy spokesmen . . and the president’s own eagerness to rush in verbally where others fear to tread . . ”97 A week later, Cronkite noted the “string of surprises [Carter] has sprung on foreign policy experts . . ”99 Carter’s “public pronouncements in foreign affairs have sometimes caught his own aides by surprise and have enmeshed the Carter Administration in complications .
3 Carter’s advisers encouraged him to make the most of his early-term political capital by making bold moves in foreign policy, especially in the Arab-Israeli dispute. However, the haste with which Carter moved during that early period helped determine the problems his diplomatic efforts encountered later. Carter’s “public statements sometimes seemed to be a little bit ill considered . . He would make them just because there was an occasion to say something,” according to the NSC’s William Quandt.
Jimmy Carter and the Middle East: The Politics of Presidential Diplomacy by Daniel Strieff