About three years ago, Ariel Sharon established Kadima, yet on Wednesday it went to the polls as a completely different party. Former Sharon advisor Raanan Gissin says Livni should not be viewed as Sharon's "successor," and adds that the party today is in fact a missed opportunity.
"The argument that Livni is Sharon's successor is a sophisticated spin. The primaries are dominated by media advisors, who are trying to convey this message," Gissin told Ynet Wednesday night. "Had Sharon woken up today, he would say this is not what he hoped for…the simple and bitter truth is that the man who established Kadima did not leave successors behind. Kadima is a missed-out hope."
Gissin says that at the time of Sharon's hospitalization, Kadima was still in the process of being forged, and thereby he was unable to create a legacy.
"Sharon gathered talented people around him," the former advisor says. "In that respect he was a 'political engineer' who knew how to create teams that would help him realize his diplomatic and political goals."
"Sharon viewed the party as a political tool, which in the first stage would enable him to realize his diplomatic approach: Shifting from a state whereby Israel is on the defensive to a state where Israel takes the initiative. The next stage was to set up a centrist party, as people were frustrated with the Left but realistic in respect to the inability to realize the Greater Israel vision."
'The public is bored'Another former Sharon aide, Media Advisor Arnon Perlman, says that Kadima's current leadership candidates are "dull."
Perlman told Ynet that Kadima's leadership candidates failed to sweep the public. Even though the primaries held great significant for the State of Israel, they remained largely internal party elections, he said.
Perlman says this indifference constitutes a failure for the candidates, for the media, and for the Israeli public. "The public is bored; it's not interested in the elections," he said.