The President got no honeymoon. After profusely thanking his team and workers, he was immediately called upon to deal with the resignation of Gen. Petraeus over an affair with his biographer; Isreal's attack on Hamas and of course the so-called "fiscal cliff".
He reluctantly accepted Petraeus' resignation after lauding him for his service to the nation and made it clear that the voters gave him a mandate to deal with the economy, immigration and Iran etc. He made it clear that he will go ahead with tax increase for the rich and relief for the others and that he is willing to meet with the Republican leadership. He also ststed that he will tackle immigration reform and continue his policy of economic and diplomatic embargo on Iran.
Israel poses another dilemna. Netanyahu was banking on a Romney victory and when that did not happen, he, Netanyahu realised that he will not get US backing for an attack on Iran. He went after an alternative, Hamas. He blamed Hamas for firing rockets on Isreal (even as Hamas claimed that they did so, only after attacks from Israel), and launched a fierce air and sea bombardment, together with assassination of Hamas leaders. The outcome was that dozens of women and children were also killed and wounded
( collateral damage, as they say, as if that is acceptable).
Netanyahu has an election in two months and need the "security vote". So he has started an unnecessary war ( this man who rejoiced at the assassination of peacemaker, Rabin). He has never benn interested in peace with the Palestinians, as long as the settlers and religious right refuse to give up claim to the West Bank. He has allowed to continuation of new settlement building, anything to placate these "voters". He is all about personal power and struts around like a popinjay, but his days of lecturing President Obama is over.
This war has serious consequences. It will turn this volatile region into a cauldron and will draw in Turkey (problems with the Kurds and refugees and spill over from Syria); Lebanon where Hizballah is eager to yake on Israel again; Jordan where tensions are high; Iraq, where sectarianism is on the rise; Bahrain where there is an uprising and of course Egypt( which was trying with some success to restart the peace talks) and Libya where instability reign.. In trying to win the next election and the award as the "defender" of Israel, Netanyahu has lit the flare which may ignite the conflagration.
President Obama has to use all his considrerable skill and the influence of the US to stop this from happening.
It will take the Lincoln in him to do so.