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.