'This Week' Transcript: Axelrod

So we have a little bit of a reset going on here. And that is important because it sets the stage for a much better handled Mideast policy from the point of view from the Obama administration, which I think has been very good cop, bad cop, good cop, bad cop, and it's been the same cop, which has been President Obama, to try to set the stage for progress going forward.

Will there be progress? George's history suggests how difficult that is. We'll, you know, see you in September on that. That's when the moratorium expires. We'll see if there's a movement towards direct talks. We'll see if there's an extension of the moratorium.

TAPPER: And in the next...

MARCUS: But we -- we needed this pageantry to get to the possibility of substance.

TAPPER: And we're told in the next two months there will be an announcement about direct talks. Do you -- are you optimistic, Ron?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I mean, I think that you have to separate the process for the policy. I mean, look, it is -- it is the fate of Democratic presidents and Bibi Netanyahu to be linked to each other in this kind of mismatch and an Israeli government that probably is more comfortable with the point of view of a Republican conservative government.

The White House feels that they have made progress in sort of imposing or advancing their view of how Israel achieves security on Netanyahu in the sense that he has moved on the process and is more likely to accept direct talks. But his -- whether his view of the ultimate value of those talks and whether what he is willing to give up or negotiate during those talks has really changed much, I think there's reason to be much more skeptical of that.

In the end, it's hard to believe that the Obama view of what Israel needs to do to advance its security and the Netanyahu view of what Israel needs to do to advance its security are really ever going to truly converge.

SALAM: I think that there's the bigger, deeper issue, and George alludes to this, which is that it's not clear who the Palestinian negotiating partner is, and the United States can exert as much as pressure as it wants, but, you know, as long as that's not the case -- and that's a process that has to be worked out and is only going to be worked out among the Palestinians.

As far as the president goes, I think the -- you know, the Democratic foreign policy establishment really believes that the peace process or at least the projection that the United States intends to do something about the peace process is vitally important for achieving goals elsewhere in the Islamic world, and that means that it's just talk, talk, talk and nothing else.

TAPPER: There was an interesting political development this week here domestically in the United States with former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin rearing her head and releasing this Web video for her PAC.


PALIN: Moms kind of just know when something's wrong. There in Alaska, I always think of the mama grizzly bears that rise up on their hind legs when somebody's coming to attack their cubs, to do something adverse toward their cubs. If you thought pit bulls were tough, well, you don't want to mess with the mama grizzlies.


TAPPER: So, Ruth, you're the actual only mama grizzly at the table. What's your take on this?

BROWNSTEIN: Rear. Rear for us.

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