Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator John McCain appears to be the most Zionist of the three candidates who commented on the Passover Seder and the reading of the traditional Hagada, according to The New York Times op-ed writer William Kristol. Sen. McCain, who was a prisoner of war during the war in Vietnam, was the only one of the three candidates who linked the story of the Exodus from slavery in Egypt with attacks on Jews. He commented that three IDF soldiers who were kidnapped two years ago "will celebrate [Passover] once again, in captivity.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used the Hagada to make a call "to stand up to oppression, tyranny and discrimination." Rival candidate Sen. Barak Obama noted that the Passover Seder ceremony encourages children to ask questions. He interpreted that as meaning that American policy should emphasize dialogue. He previously has said that if he were elected president, he would talk with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, he has rejected the idea of sitting down for discussions with Hamas, which is funded by Iran.