Several people notified me of the following development yesterday:
President Obama moved swiftly to engage on the Middle East on Wednesday, calling Israeli and Arab leaders on his first morning in office and preparing to appoint a seasoned peace negotiator and former senator, George J. Mitchell, as his special emissary to the region . . .
. . . Mr. Mitchell’s appointment, which could be announced as soon as Thursday, underscores the central role that the Middle East has assumed in the Obama administration.
A former Senate majority leader who helped broker a peace deal in Northern Ireland, Mr. Mitchell also led a commission searching for ways to stop violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
He is viewed as a diplomatic heavyweight who may bring more balance to Washington’s relationships in the region.
“He’s neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Palestinian,” said Martin S. Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel and an adviser to the Clinton administration. “He’s, in a sense, neutral.”
Yes, Mr. Mitchell served with distinction in the Senate and did wonderful work in Northern Ireland. Those of us who ply our trade in the world of baseball, however, have more recent data points with respect to the good Senator’s work. If his work for Major League Baseball is any indication of how he’ll handle Mideast diplomacy, be on the lookout for the following developments in his new position:
I don’t know about you, but I feel safer already.