Washington (CNN) – Amid the push for peace in the Middle East and the push for reduced tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, how much has President Barack Obama's leadership helped mitigate those dire situations?
Two top members of Congress offered starkly different characterizations on Sunday. While one praised the President's "strong" leadership, the other accused Obama of being "AWOL," serving up "passive responses to naked aggression all over the world."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee, offered their thoughts to CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley during interviews on CNN's "State of the Union."
Is it bad optics, Pelosi was asked, for the president to attend fundraisers as parts of the world seemingly blow up around him?
SEATTLE (CNN) - As President Barack Obama helped Democrats bank millions in campaign cash on Tuesday, he acknowledged his administration is confronting "some big overseas challenges" in the Middle East, Ukraine and elsewhere.
Speaking at a fundraiser in a wealthy enclave of Seattle, Obama said there is a sense among Americans "that around the world the old order isn't holding and we're not quite where we need to be in terms of a new order that's based on a different set of principles."
Overseas, Israel continues its ground invasion of Gaza and investigators continue to probe the downing of a Malaysia Air jetliner over Ukraine. Some Republicans and pundits have chastised Obama for maintaining his three-day fundraising swing on the West Coast, though his aides argue the President can do his job from anywhere.
(CNN) - Secretary of State John Kerry raised eyebrows Sunday following comments, caught on an open mic, that left some wondering whether he was criticizing Israeli assurances that its ground offensive in Gaza would be limited?
Kerry's comments occurred between multiple television interviews. He was heard in a phone conversation with a State Department deputy, Jonathan Finer, discussing the deaths of Israeli soldiers killed overnight.
Washington (CNN) - When Jon Stewart gave Hillary Clinton a career aptitude test on the 'Daily Show' Tuesday night, her answers alluded to a presidential bid - and she touched on the disintegration of a Middle East cease-fire she negotiated two years ago.
The former Secretary of State, Senator, First Lady and Cabinet member told the Comedy Central host that she wants a home office.
"Do you have a favorite shape for that home office? Would you like it to have corners?" he asked her.
Washington (CNN) - As tensions between Israelis and Palestinians ramp up, the United States must begin shuttle diplomacy, according to Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
One of the top Senate Republicans, McCain argued that Secretary of State John Kerry should go to the region and initiate a dialogue between the two sides.
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) - President Obama will speak with key European leaders about the crisis in Ukraine Friday. But earlier in the day at a joint news conference with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, Obama acknowledged the sanctions against Russia put in place by the U.S. and its allies may not ultimately change Vladimir Putin's calculus.
"I think that's self-apparent," Obama said when asked if the Russian president may simply remain unresponsive to the economic pressure.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made explicit the administration's renewed attempts to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and Palestine Saturday as the United States begins to assume a more muscular role in talks.
At the Brookings Institution's annual Saban Forum on Middle East issues and U.S.-Israeli relations, Obama and Kerry each spoke about a budding interim deal that would work towards a two-state solution.
Jerusalem (CNN) – U.S. President Barack Obama wraps up his trip to the Middle East on Saturday with a walking tour of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
The city's breathtaking architecture features buildings partly carved into stone cliffs and combines eastern culture with ancient Greek constructions. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
(CNN) – A national security adviser to President Barack Obama reaffirmed on Saturday the administration’s support for Israel’s “right to defend itself” as violence raged on the border between Israel and Gaza.
“We believe that the precipitating factor for the conflict was the rocket fire coming out of Gaza,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser. “We believe that Israel has a right to defend itself and will make its own decisions about the package that they use in that regard.”
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will likely address the recent unrest in the Muslim world, including in Libya, when he speaks to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, according to administration officials.
He is expected to once again reject the views in the controversial video that is thought to have instigated the violence that resulted in the death of four Americans in Benghazi, one official said, while underscoring that violence is never acceptable.