Israelis want to love and be loved; so does President Obama. Israelis do not trust politicians and Obama’s greatest success is his ability to ingratiate himself to people—some Republicans notwithstanding. Regardless of the substantive progress, if any, that is made on this trip, Obama wants even the highly skeptical Israelis to believe and trust him. (This also explains why the sourness of the Bibi-Obama personal relationship is so atypical.)
For the President his whistle stop touring in Israel is reminiscent of the 2008 campaign. Everything is in place: the signs, the events, the orchestration, the motorcades, the helicopters, the atmospherics, the excitement, even the demonstrations. Most analysts will be very surprised if Obama does not emerge from the next 48 hours having won over– at least in spirit—even the most hardened Israel cynics.
All that is missing to make this trip a guaranteed success is Michelle.