Here's some reaction to Barack Obama's speech in Jerusalem, which seemed to be well received by the crowd of Israeli students in attendance.
"It's never a good idea to steal the president's thunder," Vice President Joe Biden told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference this morning, in an impassioned speech about the need to maintain strong ties between the United States and Israel.
Biden, who nudged the administration on same-sex marriage last year, was foreshadowing President Obama's visit to Israel later this month, his first trip since becoming president.
Called upon this morning, again, to defend his endorsement of Chuck Hagel's nomination as defense secretary, Senator Chuck Schumer answered by talking about a conversation he had with Hagel about his previous reference to a "Jewish lobby" in America.
"Senator [Frank] Lautenberg was a close friend of mine and I'm going to miss him badly," Sen. Chuck Schumer told reporters at his office in midtown this afternoon, shortly before Lautenberg was scheduled to officially announce his impending retirement in Paterson, New Jersey.
"He had passion," Schumer continued. "He was not one of those people who just put his finger to the wind and figured out the political angles. He cared about a lot of things, and he'd focus on specific issues and get them done.
By a party-line vote of 14 to 11, the Senate Armed Services Committee favorably reported the nomination of Chuck Hagel this afternoon.
The vote came after Republicans took another turn criticizing Hagel for past comments he made as a senator, more recent comments he made during a shaky confirmation hearing, and additional comments and financial information that they said he failed to adequately disclose.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said today that he wasn't familiar with the controversy at Brooklyn College over a scheduled panel discussion featuring a group that advocates a boycott of Israel. But he did say, "We have a first amendment."
Rep. Eliot Engel thinks President Obama's planned trip to Israel could help put to rest the recent campaign rhetoric about how the president is insufficiently supportive of our closest ally in the Middle East.
"I'm happy he's doing it, I think it'll be successful," said Engel. "I think it will put to rest what some people say that he's not pro-Israel."
Add Councilman Jumaane Williams to the chorus of elected officials criticizing Brooklyn College, which is co-sponsoring an upcoming lecture from two speakers who support divestment from, and boycotting of, Israel.(2)
In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand finally had the chance to publicly question Chuck Hagel, saying she'd be focusing her time on the "most urgent issues from my perspective," which were, in order: Iran, Israel, Israel, Israel, Syria, Afghanistan, and the treatment of women in the military.(2)
Sen. Chuck Schumer defended his early endorsement of Chuck Hagel on a Jewish radio program this morning, saying he had asked "probing" questions in his 90-minute meeting with Hagel at the White House.
"His answers were not pat, were not check the box," Schumer told Nachum Segal, the host of "JM in the AM."
"You know, Nachum, I've been around, I've been in politics 37 years and I've been fooled on occasion, but not too often," Schumer said. "I think I have a pretty good, as they call it, b.s. detector.
After an extended meeting in the West Wing of the White House yesterday, Sen. Chuck Schumer issued a statement this morning supporting Chuck Hagel's nomination as Secretary of Defense.
"Based on several key assurances provided by Senator Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation," he said in the statement. "I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him."
Chuck Schumer very much doesn't have anything to say yet about the president's nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.
Each day, the New York tabloids vie to sell readers at the newsstands on outrageous headlines, dramatic photography, and, occasionally, great reporting. Who is today's winner?(1)
After complaining about how the "Jewish owned press" is consistently biased against Israel on Saturday, the News Corp founder wrote this afternoon that his comment has "been sternly criticized" for "suggesting a link to Jewish reporters. Don't see this, but apologize unreservedly." Slate has a good run-down of the numerous ways in which Murdoch's initial tweet was offensive and inaccurate.