Obama Courts G-20 With Star Power, iPod
By Ben Pershing
Hours before Washingtonians even woke up this morning, President Obama had already huddled with the president of South Korea in London to discuss how the two countries will approach an upcoming missile launch by North Korea. Later today comes G-20 plenary sessions and individual meetings with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and India. It's all in a day's summitry for a president who is said to be "wowing London" with his "star power."
But all the charisma in the world might not be enough to produce the agreement that Obama and many of his fellow leaders seek out of the London gathering. France and Germany keep pushing for new global financial rules that might never fly in the United States, while Obama warned the world Wednesday not to expect U.S. consumers will continue to drive the world's economy as much as they have in the past. Leaders have reportedly agreed today to give more money to the International Monetary Fund, but can Obama persuade his peers to do more? Perhaps he can order up some instant advice from his secret advisory panel of behavioral scientists.
Apparently Michelle Obama and Queen Elizabeth II got along well during their meeting yesterday, to the point that the first lady breached royal protocol by actually daring to touch the queen's back, or something like that. The president also found time to give the queen an iPod with, it has been mockingly noted, some of his own speeches downloaded. Perhaps he should have given her the new U2 album, or the Washington Post's Politics Podcast. (Her Majesty probably already subscribes.)
Posted at 8:21 AM ET on Apr 2, 2009
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