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Bridget Johnson


February 20, 2013 - 3:42 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) showed two more signs that he’s prepping for a presidential run this week: First, he traveled to the Middle East to meet with world leaders. Second, he again made light of his State of the Union water sip.

Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with King Abdullah II in Jordan on Monday, as well as former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab, who defected to Jordan.

Today Rubio met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem.

“There is no more important relationship for the United States, perhaps in the world but certainly in the region, than Israel,” said Rubio. “It’s one that has bipartisan support and I’m proud to say that Republicans and Democrats are united on that. We remain deeply committed, above all else, to Israel’s security. Like every nation, like every sovereign people, the people of Israel have the right to be safe.”

He then toured the Iron Dome missile defense system with Israeli Maj. Gen. Noam Tibon, Commander of Northern Formation in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), during a helicopter flight over the West Bank.

President Obama visits Israel for the first time in his presidency in March. Peres announced Obama will be awarded the presidential medal of distinction on his visit for his “unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens.”

Before Obama leaves, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is quietly visiting Washington this week. “While in Washington, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat will meet with Special Envoy David Hale,” the State Department said today. “Other meetings may also be arranged. We refer you to the Palestinian Authority for more details on his travel.”

Rubio’s office provided this picture of an excellent H2O toast between Netanyahu and Rubio.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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I don't think Rubio will be the savior of the Republican party, by any means. He will likely pull in many voters of Cuban ancestry and perhaps some of Venezuelan ancestry if there are any around to vote.

Still, I very much enjoyed the water toast with PM Netanyahu. It was probably the most effective way to irritate President Obama, and that's something worthwhile. The expressions on the PM's face and on the faces of the bystanders speak volumes.
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