The President turns his attention towards the most elusive of goals - peace in the Middle East.
Good morning - it's West Wing Report - and the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority are here today - they'll meet separately with President Obama and then all have dinner together - this ahead of tomorrow's peace talks.
The White House goal seems beyond ambitious: it wants a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians within 12 months.
The rough outlines are well known of course - the U.S. wants the so-called two-state solution - that will enable ISrael and the Palestinians to live side by side in peace - but the underlying dynamics are complex and, to some emotional - Secretary of State Clinton says the 12-month goal can be met - though she is lowering expectations by saying - if not understating - that there have been problems in the past and there will be in the future.
A Mideast peace deal is central to Obama's broader goal of, in his words, "lowering the temperature" in the region. He thinks that'll help with other Mideast messes - like Iran and the expanding U.S. war in Afghanistan.
- Paul Brandus at the White House