My approach to any research is to first go to the detractors, so here is the opening of this piece on Tzipora Malka "Tzipi" Livni:
Do not allow her smart clothing, the pleasant visage and friendly smile to hypnotize you and obscure the macabre agenda driving this life long Zionist -- the dream has always been Eretz Yisrael.
As with all Zionist Ashkenazi Prime Ministers before, her pedigree for the post is perfect: A sinister Mossad Spy, a murdering international terrorist and a legal apologist for the crimes of Israel internally and across the globe.
She does have Irgun links and was stationed in Paris in a "front" role as a local resident but that's as far as you can go. She is trying to win this election alone, without coalition partners.
Her background is lawyer/Mossad and her political stance can be expressed thus:
"We want to make clear that this region is one in which you either beat the neighborhood bully, or you join him. . . . All hesitation creates an image of weakness. Iran needs to understand the threat of a military move exists and is not being taken off the table. The more that this is made clear, the less the need to put this to use, later on. Thus, keeping the military threat on the table is important.`'
A known Sharonite, Livni stands firmly against the dismantlement of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and opposes a return to the 1967 borders. She is also vehemently against the repatriation of Palestinian refugees.
Her CV from a more pro-Israeli site states:
She is a graduate of Bar Ilan University Faculty of Law and has worked for 10 years as an attorney specializing in public and commercial law. She was awarded the Abirat Ha-Shilton in 2004. She was described as the second most power politician in Israel in 2006. She was included as the 52nd most powerful woman in the world as ranked by Forbes in 2007. She was included in the 2007 edition of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. She speaks Hebrew, English and French.
Here's an interview with her:
State of play as I see it
The loss of resolution HJ Res 362 in congress means that the hawks might be outnumbered and with Obama probably coming in as U.S. Prez, there will be U.S. pressure on Israel to accommodate Palestinian aims, something, under Livni, which would not happen.
The possibility of blockading Iran is slipping away and the threat to Israel is therefore more dire than earlier. Russia is sweethearting Iran in trade deals and Obama will want to normalize relations with Russia, which has its own deals with China as well.
The long and the short of it is that middle-east relations are currently in a flat period, awaiting some elections and other developments on trade deals. For pundits, it's probably a case of keeping a weather eye open for now.