While the Obamas' meeting with Queen Elizabeth made headlines around the world, President Obama appears to be struggling to hold the gavel and drive the policy debate.
But just yesterday...
Yet somehow, out of a routine piece of choreography — two world leaders standing at adjoining lecterns — Obama conjured a sense of optimism about what the G-20 might achieve, and more broadly about America's changed view of its international role. He had come, he told an audience that included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, "to listen, not to lecture." The phrase had already been telegraphed by his press team, but it was no less powerful for that, especially to an audience used to his predecessor's homilies on American views and values. More startling, Obama said the U.S. was coming to the G-20 "as a peer" of the other nations. Dismissing speculation over rifts as exaggerated, the President maintained that there had been "an extraordinary convergence."
This seems to be a pattern with him. Promising one thing and delivering another.