Chief among the McCain campaign’s foreign policy advisers known for their neoconservative worldview is Randy Scheunemann, a former aide to Trent Lott and Bob Dole in the Senate.
Other neoconservative foreign policy analysts who have Mr. McCain’s ear are former Clinton White House CIA Director R. James Woolsey Jr., who predicted that Iraq’s Shi’ite Muslims would flock to support the U.S. in the event of war, and Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century.
The Republican presidential hopefuls who competed with Mr. McCain earlier this year tended to share the same interventionist approach in foreign policy that is integral to the neoconservative worldview.
“There is an overwhelming presence of neoconservatives and absence of traditional conservatives that I don’t know what to make of,” said Richard V. Allen, former Reagan White House national security adviser.
In June, Mr. Obama pledged his support before a powerful pro-Israel lobby, though not couched in biblical or religious terms.
“I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington. “Let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.”
Not to be outdone, Mr. Biden appealed in person to elderly Jewish Floridians on Wednesday.
“I am chairman of the [Senate] Foreign Relations Committee,” he said. “I give you my word as a Biden I would not have given up that job to be Barack Obama’s vice president if I didn’t in my gut and in my heart and in my head know that Barack Obama is exactly where I am on Israel. And he is.”
On Monday, Mr. McCain told an AIPAC audience that a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would lead to “anti-Semitic rants and a worldwide audience for a man who denies the Holocaust.”
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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