On a red carpet, the Saudi king placed a gold medallion around the President's neck, while on the airwaves there was a reminder of an albatross that already hangs there.
Osama bin Laden released a new audio recording today focusing on Pakistan's Swat Valley. Bin Laden says that efforts to uproot Taliban militants there will sow the seeds of hatred and vengeance in the Muslim world.
In a speech tomorrow, the President is expected to reach out to Muslims to assure them that the U.S. is not at war with Islam. But Muslim leaders must continue to reciprocate that sentiment, and publicly denounce terror in the name of religion.
A swift condemnation of bin Laden's statements from the Saudis - and from moderate Muslim leaders - could be worth its weight in gold.
That's a page from my notebook.