WASHINGTON – Today around 9:40 a.m. former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee this morning before a crowd of around 18,000 at the Verizon Center. Talking foreign policy is in the wheelhouse of Clinton and she will be the only candidate who will take the stage with a total knowledge of the Middle East.
Later in the day the Republican candidates Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the only presidential not speaking at AIPAC is the only Jew in the race Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has chosen to stay on the campaign trail.
This will be the first time that the two presidential front runner’s Clinton and Trump, will be addressing the same audience. The two will make their cases on Middle East and how they will would handle the that volatile area of the world.
Clinton has said that she will take things to the next level with Israel “I would extend an invitation to the Israeli prime minister to come to the United States,” Clinton said at a Washington forum hosted by the Brookings Institution when asked about her first day in the White House, “to work towards very much strengthening and intensifying our relationship on military matters.”
Clinton also said the military option should not be “taken off the table” when dealing with Iran, which is already showing “provocative behavior” that could violate its nuclear deal with the U.S.
Clinton is expected to underscore the importance of a steady hand in contrast to the more freewheeling style of Trump. Also look for Clinton to say that the United States must never be neutral about defending Israel or standing up to bigotry — a direct reference to Trump’s political blunder when he promised America would play the role of a “neutral” broker between Israelis and Palestinians.
She will also underscore how America’s special relationship with Israel is not negotiable, an effort to draw a winning contrast with Trump’s more dispassionate position, in front of a hard-liner Jewish audience.
Look for Clinton to highlight how America’s relationship with Israel and its leadership in the Middle East is an important part of that commander-in-chief test. A test that she will draw between her and all of her Republican foes.
Clinton’s appearance in front of AIPAC is her third, she spoke at the same event when she was a candidate for president eight years ago, and again as secretary of state in 2010. She has higher favorability numbers among the delegates than President Barack Obama because of her understanding of the region and a more hawkish way of doing things.
There is no doubt that Clinton will be far more at home talking to AIPAC than any of the other speakers. It will be a good chance for her to look presidential.