As Jennifer Siegel reports this week, Senator Norm Coleman appears to be bracing for a tough reelection campaign in 2008. He has joined Democrats in criticizing President Bush’s proposed troop surge in Iraq. So it’s worth watching to see how he operates as the newly named ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. He is likely to find himself in the regular position of having to embrace or reject the administration’s approach to the Middle East. Check out this quote in the press release issued by his office.
“Ensuring strong and stable foreign policy in this part of the world is important to both the state of Minnesota and our entire nation,” said Coleman. “I intend to use this Subcommittee to bolster the full Committee’s oversight of our Iraq policy. I also want to focus attention on the destabilizing effect of Iran and its nuclear program and support for terrorism. Additionally, I will use this position to continue to articulate my strong support for our allies as well as the need for an even-handed approach to Middle East peace and an end to terror.”
Dovish on Iraq. Hakish on Iran. And what exactly does Coleman mean by “an even-handed approach to Middle East peace”?