TAPPER: Donna, does the fact that McCain's in trouble show that the maverick positions he did take in the past -- not 10 years ago but even a few years ago, such as immigration reform, or even last year or 2008 on the Wall Street bailout, that he is no longer representative of the Republican Party, or is it just -- or is he just an old -- is he an anachronism, something -- a more moderate Republican?
BRAZILE: Well, I think John McCain is being John McCain, and that is, he is trying to survive a very heated, difficult and perhaps, you know, energized Republican primary.
I was at the Republican Convention, and what struck me when Sarah Palin came to the floor is that she energized a four-car funeral. She's trying to bring some energy and some life to John McCain. And I don't think that's, for her -- I mean, for him, it's a good thing, but for the Democrats, I don't think it hurts us at all to have Sarah Palin out there, whipping up the base, whipping up the tea parties. Stir up as much tea as you want.
It's producing a lot of coffee drinkers within the Democratic Party.
NOONAN: Sometimes I feel that we all forget the big center that doesn't show up in politics all the time and isn't always that politically engaged but is watching and shows up to vote.
TAPPER: We only have time for one topic. And I want to throw out the fact that this has not been the greatest month in the history of U.S.-Israel relations.
Paul, was this conflict, the showdown with Netanyahu -- was this inevitable?
KRUGMAN: I think so. Actually, my colleague Tom Friedman had a good thing to say about that. He said that it used to be that making peace was -- you know, was an important job for Israel and, sort of, a hobby for the United States.
And now it seems to be the other way around.
The United States has huge interests in reaching some kind of solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem. Israel no longer seems particularly interested in it, or at least the current governing coalition in Israel doesn't seem interested.
So, sure, there's a big tension, and this is the problem. And, you know, I think Netanyahu isn't in control of his own coalition. I mean, I don't think it was a deliberate, top-down decision to start new housing developments in Jerusalem right at that most sensitive moment.
It's his own -- it's his own junior partners who are out of control there, and this is a problem for Obama. It's a problem for America.
WILL: U.S.-Israeli relations are worse now than they have been in the 62 years that Israel has existed. It's the only nation in the world with which we have worse relations. What nation is that? It's the only democracy in the Middle East, the only salient of our values in that inhospitable region, the only reliable ally there. And we are treating it as a problem because the Jews in a Jewish section of Jerusalem have decided to builds 1,600 housing units.
It is the law of the land, expressed in the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, that Jerusalem shall be the united capital of the state of Israel, period.
BRAZILE: Well, our -- the bond is still strong between the Israeli people and Americans. I think the relationship is rocky now. But long term, the Obama administration is clearly committed to a safe and secure Israel, but they also would like to see the Palestinians and Israelis come back to the table.