U.S. President Joe Biden will seek to salvage relations with Saudi Arabia and boost Israel’s beleaguered government in a Middle East trip that risks political embarrassment unless near-record U.S. gasoline prices swiftly come back to earth.

In Saudi Arabia, Biden will restore relations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, a leader he decried as a "pariah” after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in hopes of securing a boost in oil production that might help ease pump prices battering his approval ratings at home.

But a deal isn’t a given, particularly because Biden must avoid an embarrassing retrenchment on human rights that would further anger the liberal Democrats whose desperately needed support is already eroded.