Obama's Mideast Success Jacks Expectations
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2009 1:45 PM CDT
President Barack Obama, right, tours the Sultan Hassan Mosque with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, June 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East has established even higher standards for his presidency, Politico reports. Obama is using his global celebrity to restart Israel-Palestine talks and improve relations between the West and the Muslim world, proving he’s “not a president who has ever shied away from setting high expectations, and then trying to meet them,” a White House official says.

French and German newspapers went wild when Obama toured Europe, and his Cairo University speech was reportedly a hit in the Arab world. But officials are also hoping Obama’s diplomatic image will entrench his popularity in the US by differentiating him from previous presidents. “This is a different time with different opportunities, and we can move forward,” an aide says.