For U.S. politicians, civil rights leaders, celebrities and business leaders with a connection to Nelson Mandela, there’s no more prestigious way to pay their respects at his memorial than to arrive in South Africa on Air Force One with President Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama used his first official visit to Israel and the West Bank to build urgency for restarting peace talks and seek more patience on confronting Iran, often speaking past government leaders to harness public support.
It wasn’t Barack Obama’s doing -- at least not fully. The crowds in Paris and Berlin, and the Muslims in Cairo and Karachi, eager to be done with President George W. Bush, took the new standard-bearer of American power as one of their own, a cosmopolitan man keen to break with the embattled certitude of the Bush years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election rivals from the Labor party said he carried disputes with U.S. President Barack Obama too far and gave the impression of favoring Republican candidate Mitt Romney.