NBC's Gregory to Israeli Ambassador: Will Obama Be 'Rock Star' in Israel?

In an interview with Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren for NBC's online Meet the Press: Press Pass, which is also aired by some NBC-owned stations following Meet the Press on Sundays, moderator David Gregory wondered about President Obama's upcoming trip to Israel: "...the last Democratic president who had significant ties to Israel, President Clinton, was really a rock star in Israel. What are the chances that Barack Obama becomes similarly a rock star in Israel?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] 

Oren gave the answer Gregory wanted to hear: "I think it's excellent....[Obama will have] a lot of opportunities to interact with Israelis, particularly Israeli young people....And by the time he takes off from Israel on Friday, I think he's going to be a very, very popular man in the state of Israel."

Here is a transcript of the brief exchange aired on March 17:

11:44AM ET

(...)

DAVID GREGORY: There – to end on this point – the last Democratic president who had significant ties to Israel, President Clinton, was really a rock star in Israel. What are the chances that Barack Obama becomes similarly a rock star in Israel?

MICHAEL OREN: I think it's excellent. I think that the Israeli people have never really encountered President Obama up close. He's going to have a lot of chance – a lot of opportunities to interact with Israelis, particularly Israeli young people. He'll be meeting up to a thousand Israeli college students in one particular gathering, and they're going to see him in a completely, I think, a different light. And by the time he takes off from Israel on Friday, I think he's going to be a very, very popular man in the state of Israel.

GREGORY: We look forward to the trip. Ambassador, thanks.

OREN: Thank you very much, David.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC