How successful was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a special joint session of Congress on Tuesday? Judging from the changed reactions of his media critics, almost all of whom praised the speech, it was a complete triumph.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who had attended the speech despite calling Netanyahu “arrogant” and criticizing the event severely beforehand, told CNN’s Dana Bash afterwards: “I think it was a very powerful speech.”
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who had bashed the speech in advance as a political stunt, said: “The chances [of an Iran deal] just went to 60/40 against. This was a very good speech, from the Prime Minister’s perspective.”
Times of Israel editor David Horovitz, who had also criticized Netanyahu for the planning of the speech, said: “Many in Israel will feel he gave the speech of his life.”
Even Huffington Post critic Marc Ginsburg acknowledged that Netanyahu “made excellent points.”
Perhaps the most telling sign of Netanyahu’s success was not that he convinced liberal critics to praise him, but that he convinced conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh to praise John Boehner’s courage for standing by the invitation.
A complete win.