While Ariel Sharon remains in a coma, several paragraphs down in Reuters’ coverage of the Israeli political situation is this interesting tidbit:
Signaling Washington’s intent to keep Middle East diplomacy from sliding into limbo, President George W. Bush telephoned [Acting Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert to express solidarity.
U.S. and Israeli officials said Olmert could be invited to the White House as early as next month.
This will immediately project Olmert as a world figure. Although being seen as an American poodle is not on percent winner with the Israeli public, with their elections slated for March 23, this is no small thing. A seal of approval goes on Olmert and Israeli centrism.