WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president of the United States, has been trying to convince Jewish donors in private conversations that she will be a better friend to Israel than President Barack Obama, Politico reported on Friday.
One of the donors at a Manhattan fundraising last week said Clinton defended Obama against accusations he had harmed US-Israel relations, saying this criticism comes from a "perception" problem, but also suggested that as president, she could bring the two nations closer together.
"Diplomacy is all about personal relationships, and I've got my own relationships," Clinton was quoted as saying, referring to her relationships with two of Obama's bigger critics in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren.
At a fundraiser in Long Island, Democratic donor Jay Jacobs said Clinton "did stress in no uncertain terms her full and fervent support of the state of Israel and the defense of the state of Israel. And the people in the audience who heard it seemed to be comfortable with her answer."
Politico reported, however, that when pushed about the issue of the nuclear negotiations with Iran, Clinton has provided vague answers which left Jewish donors with various interpretations about her positions.
One of the donors, a supporter of a deal with Iran, quoted Clinton as saying she was "very supportive of the negotiating process," while another said she highlighted her role in starting the talks during her tenure at the State Department.
Clinton was also quoted by billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry as saying about the possible deal with Iran, "I'm going to do what's in the best interest of the US."