This week, there has been a very important political event occuring outside of what’s happening in Havana — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference. Because Israel is (supposed to be) America’s bestie, it is customary for high-ranking U.S. politicians to show up and give a word of support every year.
Because we are headlong into the three-ring circus known as the 2016 presidential election, every remaining candidate has appeared at the lectern, declaring their support for the Holy Land, decrying ISIS, and stumping for themselves.
And then spray-tan expert and steak salesman Donald Trump shows up, setting a wildfire from the stage and in front of the 18,000 in attendance:
“With President Obama in his final year — yay!” said Trump, adding an exclamation not in the text and earning huge applause.
“He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me,” Trump said. “And you know it and you know it better than anybody.”
Before we go on, remember this WaPo line: “earning huge applause.” Many people loved what they heard from the GOP front-runner; however, Lillian Pinkus, the newly installed president of AIPAC felt moved to apologize for Trump’s divisive words.
“There are people in our AIPAC family who were deeply hurt last night and for that we are deeply sorry,” Pinkus said, her voice choking. “We are deeply disappointed that so many people applauded a sentiment that we neither agree with or condone…We take great offense at those that are levied against the president of the United States of America from our stage.”
This is a conference designed to galvanize pro-Israeli sentiment in this country and support American leaders in their plight to protect its nation against the threats of terrorism.
While PR professionals are writing talking points condemning “politics of hate” and “a need for bipartisanship,” this kind of rhetoric is getting voters’ attention.
Politicians are scared of talk “off the script” because they don’t want to be caught in the crosshairs of the media or their constituents. Voters love it because a revolutionary mindset is what made this country “great” in the first place. And so, a sly PR team and some shrewd political masterminds have told Trump that’s the way to go.
Take this for an example: AIPAC hasn’t apologized for Trump’s critics and competition bashing him from their stage. They know mudslinging is par for the course in American politics, but they also know biting a hand that can feed them is frowned upon from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
What happens if they have to apologize next year and defend… President Trump?
[PHOTO: Joshua Roberts / Reuters; STORY: Washington Post]