Electionscape: Back to politics as usual

Peres made his first mistake when he didn't pledge allegiance to Olmert's leadership.

anshel 88 (photo credit: )
anshel 88
(photo credit: )
Business as usual January 8, 2006 Consensus after Ariel Sharon's second stroke dictated that all politicians and parties suspend political maneuvering and calculations until his condition would be resolved one way or the other. How ironic that the first to break this golden rule was the world's most experienced pol, Shimon Peres. He made his first mistake when after meeting with Olmert on Friday, he didn't pledge allegiance to his leadership. He could have done so on a temporary level, reserving his final verdict, but instead he preferred to say that "nothing had been decided." In normal circumstances Peres could have been excused. Currently he's in political limbo, since officially he hasn't actually left Labor yet or officially joined up as a member of Kadima, though for all purposes, up until last Wednesday night, he had promised to follow the party founder's leadership. But less than seven week's since Kadima's birth the founder is in a coma. Everyone knew that in Kadima's desperate scramble to keep the ship afloat after the disappearance of Captain Sharon, the weakest link would be Peres. It was clear that the 82-year-old statesman would have trouble accepting the authority of Olmert, a mere stripling at sixty. In addition, unlike the rest of the refugees on the Kadima ship, Peres has a home to go back to. Labor, who believe that his defection cost them dearly in votes, are waiting with extended arms to welcome him back into the fold. A re-defection could have heralded the beginning of the collapse of the Kadima temporary edifice. Rather than wait in fear of Peres's decision, Kadima's tacticians decided also to suspend the political ceasefire and forced the issue. Over the weekend they intensively briefed the press that Peres was trying to "raise his price" while at the same time offering the prediction that he would have no choice but to stay in the party. Peres woke up to Sunday's papers that had all branded him as a profiteer trying to cash in on Sharon's critical condition. His hand was forced and after a few hours he was already promising to give Olmert his unstinting support. Also senior Labor figures realized that the rumors surrounding Peres put them too in a bad light and Amir Peretz issued a strict order to his cohorts to stop calling Shimon to come home. Ehud Barak also has trouble holding his horses. The uncertainty in the political arena acted like a magnet upon him. His "confidants" have been telling reporters of plans to promote him to the second place in the Labor list or in Kadima's, depending upon which leak you hear. anshel@ejemm.com
Previous blog entries: Over-egging the Kadima pudding January 4, 2006 Re-legitimizing the Likud January 4, 2006 Labor's freefall December 28, 2006 Rabbis and politicians December 22, 2005 Rabbis and politicians December 22, 2005 Feiglin won't disturb December 21, 2005 The Sunday morning spin December 18, 2005 Duelling with Sharon's double December 15, 2005 Changing camps December 13, 2005 In the wake of Hurricane Arik December 10, 2005 In a logjam December 8, 2005 Hanegbi - asset or liability? December 7, 2005 The Mofaz Anomaly December 5, 2005 Meretz grounds Beilin December 4, 2005 Old Cato goes home December 3, 2005 Netanyahu Concedes Defeat November 31, 2005 Star signings November 30, 2005 Hell hath no fury November 29, 2005 Electoral reform November 27, 2005 Back at the Labor headquarters November 25, 2005 In the line of fire November 24, 2005 Behind the scenes November 22, 2005 State of Euphoria November 22, 2005 On his terms November 21, 2005 The Sharon party November 21, 2005
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