A post-mortem in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz of the country's election this week, which produced a disappointing result for the ruling Likud Party, shows two amusing parallels with the U.S.'s recent presidential election.
One, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was blindsided by his party's weak performance because he was under the impression that the public polls were skewed:
"On Sunday Netanyahu was still convinced his party would obtain 36-37 Knesset seats. While most of the experienced pollsters like Camil Fuchs, Dr. Mina Tzemach and Rafi Smith discerned Likud-Beiteinu’s slide toward 30 seats, Netanyahu and his partner Avigdor Lieberman were intoxicated by groundless figures with at best a flimsy connection to reality."
Where were Karl Rove and Dick Morris on election night?
Two, Sheldon Adelson spent heavily to support Netanyahu's candidacy, and he seems to have wasted his money. Adelson has flooded Israel with copies of his free newspaper, Israel Hayom, which has a strong pro-Netanyahu editorial slant. The Economist estimates that he is sinking $20 million a year into the project. But Haaretz writes:
"Reliable sources say Netanyahu is already regretting this escapade. He realizes that Israel Hayom -- a newspaper many read but few take seriously -- is causing him more damage than good, in view of the free media’s influence on the Israeli public."
We will see if the Republican Party learns from Mitt Romney’s mistakes in 2012. The Likud Party, apparently, has not.