President Obama faces a speechmaker's "ultimate test" this week in Cairo, said Howard Fineman in Newsweek. Obama says his goal is "nothing less than to 'reconcile Islam and modernity.'" But, after the presidency of George W. Bush, Obama isn't risking much by going so far out on a limb. "All Obama has to do to be a success is elicit applause—rather than a fusillade of hurled shoes."
If Obama isn't careful he'll get tripped up by his own lofty aspirations, said Paul R. Pillar in National Journal. Given the anticipation ahead of Obama's trip to Egypt, "the president probably has at least as much opportunity to disappoint as to satisfy." Ultimately, the Obama administration will have to show it's more even-handed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if it really hopes to restore "U.S. credibility in the Muslim world."
To pass this "major test," said Jason Brownlee in the Houston Chronicle, Obama will have to use his June 4 Cairo address to outline how he's making good on his "vow to end detainee abuse and restore America's moral authority." That will be a tricky thing to accomplish in Egypt, which the U.S. has chided "for abusing detainees even while endorsing, and in some cases exploiting, those same methods."
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