Okay, she’s prettier than Olmert. Let’s get that out of the way first.
She’s smarter than Palin.
She dresses better than Clinton. Hillary.
She beat out Shaul Mofaz, the architect of the IDF’s humiliation in the second Lebanon war. By a few hundred votes.
In the national polls, she beats Netanyahu in an election. Just barely. Barak’s not even in the picture.
Olmert may now finally step down, which means that she will become PM of Israel. If Olmert steps down, perhaps the police and Israel’s AG will stand down and not charge him with all of these crimes he supposedly committed.
Livni’s first order of the day will be to deal with the extortionist parties that will threaten to bring down the coalition and the government unless they get to rob the treasury for their own folks. That will be Livni’s first true test. My guess is that she’ll win some, but not all. Why? Because every minister likes to keep his special government-issued car.
Then she’ll have to deal with the US Administration is its waning we-don’t-give-a-fuck-as-long-as-you-do-what-we-tell-you-and-by-the-way-please-ignore-our-lousy-track-record-in-the-Middle-East-because-it’s-all-Cheney’s-fault days. They would like Israel to give up more than Barak was willing to give at Taba. They want Israel to do this now, even as Hamas controls Gaza and threatens in the West Bank. She’ll have to deal with that and whatever Olmert has seen fit to negotiate away already so he can leave his mark on history.
Livni will have to deal with being a woman in the Middle East. She’ll be tested by Arab leaders. I don’t think it will happen, but wars are a good way to test new leaders. Ask Olmert and Halutz about that. She’ll be tested by other leaders and groups. She’ll have to decide what to do about Iran. She’s going to have to control the IDF without letting it control her. She’ll have to appoint a superb foreign minister – someone who is better at the job than she was.
I wish I could say more, but the new Kadima leader has been circumspect to a degree that leaves her a walking blank to most of us. She didn’t go for the jugular when Olmert was on the ropes after the war. She hasn’t been vocal about any of her achievements in office and she’s relatively well-behaved when it comes to criticizing other Israeli politicians. This has served her well and that will probably be her approach to running the country. Wow, a mature and serious approach would be welcome if she could pull it off.
There’s little to say here, much about which to be concerned but also much hope that Livni is where she is because she earned it and not by accident. Running Israel has to be one of the most complex and challenging jobs in existence, so let’s really hope very hard that she merits this position and responsibility.
Mazal tov and b’hatzlacha to Tzipi Livni.