President Barack Obama delivered a long-anticipated speech to the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims touching on extremism, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the strife between Palestinians and Israelis. This speech represents an important milestone in the president’s broader efforts to heal the rift in U.S.-Muslim world relations. Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami says the president’s address largely achieved its objective.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.