|Sen. Michael Bennet|
to propose a legislative package to protect Israel. Cardin, a late decider like Bennet, came out against the agreement, only one of four Democratic senators.
My quote to Matthews pointed out that the legislative package and support for the agreement was both good policy in Bennet’s view, but also smart politics.
“As a good politician, (Bennet) is addressing both — what he thinks is the foreign policy component of this as well as the domestic politics,” said Floyd Ciruli, a Denver-based political analyst.
|Sen. Ben Cardin|
However, during much of July and August, it was unclear the President could muster 34 votes. He could only afford to lose eleven, and there were more than dozen undecided with two declared against (Schumer and Menendez).
A massive lobby effort, mostly led by Jewish-American interest, used television and other advertising in states with undecided senators. With Republican unanimous opposition, the dozen or so Democrats, including Bennet, were the target.
But ultimately, the President and his allies made the case that our allies were not going to re-negotiate the deal. They believed that was the best that could be achieved. And the alternative of no deal allowed Iran and its hard liners to proceed to nuclear weapons, likely with substantial sanction relief from the EU and others. Obama wins with 42 votes, including Bennet’s.