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 - joint fellow at the US Institute of Peace and Woodrow Wilson Center, and contributing writer for the New Yorker - @wrightr