Dan Senor: Obama Admin Elevated Netanyahu's Convincing Speech

March 4, 2015

Dan Senor, an expert on the Middle East, said he believes the White House only "elevated" the stage for Netanyahu to speak on.

"I've been doing a number of these Israeli leader speeches," Senor said. "The Congress—no one has paid attention. This one, the world was watching. There's one person to thank. His name is President Obama."

Senor called Netanyahu’s speech a substantial move that may make President Obama’s negotiations with Iran tougher.

"What the Prime Minister tried to do is just lay out why this is a bad deal," Senor said. "You, Mr. President, have said that no deal is better than a bad deal. Then, I think in a very surgical and calm way, he laid out why it was a bad deal.".

Some Democrats decried what they called "political theater," but the consensus was that Netanyahu delivered a powerful speech.

"It was like a State of the Union Address, even more electric and the thunderous applause," Joe Kernen said.

Democrats were not nearly as excited. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the speech "insulting" and 50-plus Democrats did not attend the speech.

The White House was stunned when Boehner announced the speech, and many in the Obama administration have talked ill of the event. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice called Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, D.C., destructive to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

"Keep in mind, President Obama tried to get the Democrats en masse to boycott the speech. It failed," Senor said. "Something like 80 percent of the Democrats showed up. The only ones that didn't show up are extreme hard left, pretty anti-Israel types."

Senor dismissed the White House’s claim that the speech’s timing was politically motivated. He cited deadline for the Iran negotiations at the end of the month as the real reason why Netanyahu came when he did.