Obama sought to lower expectations, in an interview with the Washington Post.
"In a meeting with The Post's editorial board on Thursday, Mr. Obama said that he didn't believe his administration would 'have that luxury' of standing back from the deteriorating situation. Yet the president-elect appeared to have a healthy appreciation of the limits of what U.S. diplomacy might be able to accomplish. 'That doesn't mean we close a deal or we have some big, grand . . . Camp David-type event early in my administration,' he said. 'The notion is not that the United States can dictate the terms of an agreement.' Mr. Obama pointed out that 'most people have a pretty good sense about what the outlines of a compromise would be.' The problem is political weakness on both sides. So, he said, his aim would be 'to provide a space where trust can be built'; he cited the suggestion of former British prime minister Tony Blair 'to build some concrete deliverables that people can see,' such as greater security for Israelis and economic benefits for Palestinians."