Benjamin Netanyahu's political rivals are hoping his American campaign advisor will do as well for him as he did for his last high profile candidate, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia). House majority leader Cantor, the highest ranking Jew in Congressional history, was on track to be Speaker before going down to spectacular defeat in June at the hands of a long shot Tea Party challenger.
His pollster, John McLaughlin, who was stunningly wrong in assuring Cantor that he had a comfortable lead in his suburban Richmond district, has signed on to advise Netanyahu in his bid for a fourth term.
Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the entire Congress, thought he had strong conservative credentials but fell to a challenger from the far right accused the incumbent of leniency on immigration reform and promoting amnesty.
McLaughlin may have a tendency to tell clients what they want to hear rather than what they should hear, critics say. "In 2011, McLaughlin released a poll that seemed to suggest Jewish voters were unhappy with President Obama and his positions on Israel, but which a Washington Post pollster at the time called “a clear example of advocacy polling,” according to the Post's In The Loop column.
It's not clear how much influence that had on Netanyahu's virtual endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 election and spreading the word to his American supporters that he preferred the Republican candidate.
Maybe McLaughlin can do for Bibi in 2015 what he did for Cantor in 2014. Send him to early retirement.
Don't worry about Cantor, tough. He's only 51 and within weeks of losing his government job landed a $3.4 million deal to join an investment firm, Moelis & Co., according to published reports. And don't forget that very generous Congressional pension and first class access to every one of his former colleagues and the rest of Washington. As a retired prime minister, Bibi can expect to do better.