Mofaz tilting left

From a NYT article, we get an early hint at the strategy of Kadima under new leader Shaul Mofaz. He is staking out “left”-leaning positions in his goal of becoming leader of a center-left coalition after the next election.

He has to tilt left unless he wants to end up as a junior partner to Likud and PM Benjamin Netanyahu–something the article quotes him as explicitly ruling out. However, he also needs his party to attract votes off Likud or other parties of the right bloc, or else all he does is re-arrange the votes and seats within the left-leaning bloc.

The article goes through aspects of Mofaz’s personal biography that allegedly might broaden his party’s appeal, and concludes with this point on the strategy:

Yohanan Plesner, a Kadima legislator who began working closely with Mr. Mofaz 18 months ago, said it was not far-fetched to beat Mr. Netanyahu.

“Our polls show that we only have to capture 4 percent of the soft right to block Netanyahu’s hold,” he said. “With his security credentials and focus on rebuilding relations with the United States, Mofaz can do that. He may not have charisma, but he knows how to set a goal and build a team.”

It will be tough to pull off, but it is worth a try. The party really was not going anywhere under Tzipi Livni’s leadership.

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