Editor's note: John King, CNN's chief national correspondent and "State of the Union" host, examines the news made in Sunday talk and offers up this Monday morning crib sheet on what to watch this week in politics. Please note that all quotes are from rush transcripts and are subject to change. If you'd like to receive a sneak peek of next week's news in your inbox every Sunday, you can sign up for the "Political Ticker - State of the Union Sunday Edition" at http://www.cnn.com/profile/
(CNN) - President Obama was aboard Air Force One over the Atlantic as this past Sunday's spinning, sparring and explaining played out. He has an increasingly ambitious overseas agenda at a telling time for his already crowded domestic portfolio.
At first glance, it's hard to be very optimistic about the prospects of getting Israel and the Palestinians back to the table, let alone back to the difficult choices of peacemaking. Yet the president, fresh from his outreach to the Muslim world, sounds remarkably upbeat. He is sending his special envoy, former Sen. George Mitchell, to the Middle East this week to put his new push to its first test.
Key subplots in the Middle East:
• Whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to come Obama's way.
• Whether Hamas and Hezbollah choose, as they often have in the past, to make themselves heard just when things get to a key juncture.
And waiting for Obama on the domestic front upon his return:
• A critical period for his push to get health-care reform this year.
• A rising unemployment rate that sobers the growing chorus of voices suggesting the worst of the recession is over.
• And the still evolving confirmation process for Supreme Court pick Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
And with that backdrop, these were the Sounds of Sunday:
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