Olmert: Strengths and weaknesses

February 15, 2006 11:24
1 minute read.
olmert at cabinet 298 ap

olmert at cabinet 298 Ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Strengths: Backed by Bush On the international front, Olmert has won a supportive nod from the US government; a nod that Olmert's rivals would not so easily receive from Israel's most important ally. Political experience Olmert oozes political experience and savvy. Former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri was even quoted as saying that Olmert, "Is one of the more experienced and talented politicians in Israel." Pragmatist A zigzagging stigma carries negative connotations, but a head of state should be pragmatic, unbound by one specific ideological position. Indeed, history has certainly shown that the view from the prime minister's office is not always as ideologically luxurious as the view from the opposition's office. The chosen path Olmert has vowed to follow in Ariel Sharon's footsteps, and polls continue to show that Sharon's footsteps seem to lead Olmert in the right direction as far as the majority of the Israeli public is concerned. Weaknesses: The "zigzagger" Olmert's political career, which began way back in 1974 when he became the youngest MK ever elected, demonstrates his ideological flippancy. Throughout the years, Olmert "the chameleon" has shifted to wherever the political situation dictated that he should be. Sharon's pitbull Sharon would often unleash Olmert to the press in order to attack a political rival or to praise Sharon's policies. Olmert is considered to be arrogant with a loose tongue, and he has yet to prove his abilities to carry himself in a presidential manner. This is one of the main concerns for his campaign advisers, who are hoping Olmert can get to election day without erupting on camera. Tenure as mayor of Jerusalem During his ten-year reign the city became one of the poorest in the country. Many of its young, secular residents left the city for the more liberal, employment rich(er) Tel Aviv. If that was the case with one city, what will he do with the entire country?

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