Today, President Obama went to the Vatican for the first time since Francis was elected Pope a year ago. The President presented Pope Francis a gift of seeds today, perhaps suggesting his Administration wants a re-boot in relations with the Vatican. Can their shared emphasis on the plight of the poor overcome Obama's differences with American Bishops and give him a political boost at home? Tomorrow, the President will visit a more uncertain ally: Saudi Arabia, which fears that a nuclear deal might lead to detente with its regional adversary, Iran. With the US less dependent on Saudi oil, will this week's visit reaffirm a traditional tie or provide fresh insight into the new world order?
The President, the Pope and the Saudis
- John Allen - Boston Globe - @JohnLAllenJr
- Michael Sean Winters - National Catholic Reporter - @MichaelSWinters
- Dennis Ross - Washington Institute for Near East Policy - @washinstitute
- Robin Wright - contributing writer at The New Yorker magazine, and a joint fellow at U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center - @wrightr