Monday, September 19, 2016

Cotton picking in Manhattan; neocons spotted at rooftop bar

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 6:56 AM

click to enlarge COTTON SPOTTED HERE: Photo from Peninsula Hotel website.
  • COTTON SPOTTED HERE: Photo from Peninsula Hotel website.

Unconfirmed, but a reliable source says U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton was hanging out on Thursday night at a trendy rooftop bar in Manhattan with his pro-Israel patron, Bill Kristol. Plotting for 2020?

Says the tipster: “I was in New York on Thursday for business, and after dinner my colleagues took me to the rooftop bar on the Peninsula Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. It was about midnight, and I looked over and saw ... Bill Kristol of all people. I thought that was weird to randomly run into Bill Kristol. Then I looked around and saw ... Tom Cotton! There was the junior senator from Arkansas standing with a group of revelers, one of whom I recognized as a conservative national security journalist named Eli Lake. I realized we had stumbled into some kind of private neo-con party. Found it interesting (bet it wasn’t on Cotton’s public schedule) and thought I'd pass it along.”

Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, was one of the so-called neo-conservatives boosters of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also runs a political action committee that spent $960,000 in support of Cotton’s election in 2014 to the Senate.

Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel was one of several PACs and pro-Israel billionaires that spent a total of more than $2 million to help Cotton defeat then-Sen. Mark Pryor two years ago. The New York Times wrote a good story about Cotton’s pro-Israel Jewish support in 2015.

Kristol has been an ardent opponent of the Obama administration’s pact with Iran to lift certain sanctions in exchange for dismantling its nuclear program. In 2015, Kristol called it “a deal worse than even we imagined possible.”

And Cotton’s been their man in the Senate. Most notably, in 2014 he rounded up 46 Republican senators to co-sign an open letter to the Iranian leadership denouncing the deal, an extraordinary act that one former retired Army major general called “mutinous” because it went around the chain of command to appeal directly to a foreign power.

Cotton is all but an unofficially declared candidate for president in 2020. Kristol has been a steady critic of Trump. What if Trump wins? A Republican counter-insurgency?

I've sent a note to Cotton's spokesperson inquiring about the reported Thursday get-together, but the office for the junior Arkansas senator typically doesn't deign to answer questions from the Arkansas Times. Maybe if we opened a tab at the Peninsula .... 

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