The guy that shocked the nation with a stunning victory that was protrayed as a message to president Obama on his Israel policy, Congressman Bob Turner in on a weeklong trip to Israel, meeting with high ranking Israeli officials. Turner told Hamodia that he had already visited years ago for touring, so he wanted to focus on policy this time.
“It is my goal to see as many officials as possible and visit some of the areas that we need to know something about, that it would be good for a congressman to know something about,” Mr. Turner said.
Mr. Turner’s dramatic entrance to Congress representing the seat that produced for the Democrats a vice-presidential candidate (Geraldine Ferraro in 1984) and the current third-ranking senator (Chuck Schumer) allowed him access to prized committees normally off-limits to someone who ranks dead last in seniority.
Mr. Turner’s mentors – Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairpersons of the House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees, respectively – arranged for him to be included in their groups. As a veteran, he was also placed on the Veterans Affairs Committee.
“Most of these things go in the pecking order of seniority, and I am kind of on the bottom of the list,” Mr. Turner said.
Mr. Turner had told Hamodia in August that he would seek to join those three committees if he were elected.
However, the main impact his election was supposed to have had – the “shot across the bow” to President Barack Obama (in former New York Mayor Ed Koch’s words when he crossed party lines to endorse Mr. Turner) – was a better environment for Israel in Washington.
Saying that he would never know what is in “the hearts and minds of men,” Mr. Turner says that it is hard to say if he has already had an impact.
“But I think I’ve been on the right side of a number of issues, in regard to foreign aid distributions, U.N. support, Iranian sanctions,” he said. “I think that some of those restrictions that we put on foreign aid and the U.N. have had a positive effect on Israel’s relationships internationally.”
“There,” Mr. Turner added, “I hope I am just a voice, but a helpful voice.”