Apparently Team Obama is no longer making foreign policy by gaffe. A while back Matt Yglesias delivered a classic appraisal of Obama's foreign policy process as it related to the Obama's unconditional pledge to meet with foreign leaders such as Chavez and Ahmadjeinad. The short version is that Obama just delivers some darn gaffe or other and then his fo-po team struggles to rationalize it.
But now it appears that his team is exhausted and can't figure out any way to push his endorsement (before AIPAC) of an undivided Jersualem uphill. So it's on to Plan B - admit that Obama mis-spoke, but blame the rest of us for lacking vision:
EW YORK (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama misused a "code word" in Middle East politics when he said Jerusalem should be Israel's "undivided" capital but that does not mean he is naive on foreign policy, a top adviser said on Tuesday.
Addressing a pro-Israel lobby group this month, the Democratic White House hopeful said: "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."
The comment angered Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as the capital of a future state. "He has closed all doors to peace," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said after the June 4 speech.
Obama later said Palestinians and Israelis had to negotiate the status of the city, in line with long-held U.S. presidential policy.
Daniel Kurtzer, who advises Obama on the Middle East, said Tuesday at the Israel Policy Forum that Obama's comment stemmed from "a picture in his mind of Jerusalem before 1967 with barbed wires and minefields and demilitarized zones."
"So he used a word to represent what he did not want to see again, and then realized afterwards that that word is a code word in the Middle East," Kurtzer said.
So "undivided" means "living together in peace and harmony", not necessarily "undivided". Sort of like the way New Jersey and New York are undivided. Sort of. Kinda. Or maybe like the US-Canada border with some security checkpoints. But anyway, peaceful, harmonious, and undivided. Except for the checkpoints.
It's not clear how this clarification will affect the Hamas 'un-endorsement' of Obama.