Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary during the George W. Bush presidency and is a member of the RJC board, along with Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director, will be traveling to Israel to spearhead the initiative. Considering that the number of votes coming from expatriates abroad tends to be relatively low compared to those of domestic voters, the decision by the RJC to send over two of its most high ranking execs seems rather peculiar, explained a JTA report.
But Brooks told JTA on Tuesday that the scheduled tour—planned for next week—is actually a sensible move considering the sizable numbers of expats in Israel and the likelihood that the November 6 election will prove a close one.
“If you look at the numbers, there is a significant opportunity out there for the Republicans to mine a number of votes,” Brooks said, noting Israeli Americans tend to favor GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, as opposed to sitting president Barack Obama, who can generally count on Jews to vote Democrat in the U.S. “If this election is going to be as close as people think it is, and with the support Romney is getting in Israel, being able to turn out American voters, especially from battleground states, could be critical.”
The tour will take place between July 9-13 and “will include media events, town hall meetings with U.S. citizens living abroad, and meetings with leading bloggers and social media activists on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms who are expert in communicating directly with potential voters,” according to an RJC press release.
“It’s a long flight, but when you think about Israel being home to 150,000 American voters, it’s also the equivalent of visiting Dayton, Ohio or Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to get out the message,” Fleischer said in the statement. “In this election, every vote is going to be important.”