Pimm, Rachman, 27 May 2008

“Thrown under the bus” is becoming the phrase of the American presidential election. It describes the moment when a candidate disowns an embarrassing supporter or adviser.

Campaign camp-followers can find themselves staring at the dreaded underside of the bus for any number of reasons. Barack Obama, the probable Democratic party candidate, committed the most famous act of bus-related violence when he finally disowned the Rev Jeremiah Wright – his spiritual mentor. John McCain, the Republican candidate, has had to rid himself of various advisers who were too close to lobbyists.

Two recent incidents illustrate that making controversial remarks about Israel is particularly risky.

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