Barack Obama is to press German chancellor Angela Merkel to support a growth package to help bail out Europe at the G8 summit this weekend amid fears in the White House that the eurozone crisis could damage the president's re-election chances.
Obama is scheduled to meet Merkel, the new French president François Hollande, the Italian prime minister Mario Monti and British prime minister David Cameron at Camp David on Friday evening.
But foreign affairs analysts said that Obama's leverage with the European leaders is minimal on this issue. Although the US has the economic muscle to help Europe out of its mess, the Obama administration took the strategic decision not to become involved directly.
Instead, Obama is to use the Camp David summit for some quiet diplomacy, hoping to sway Merkel to endorse some immediate actions to help growth. The problem for Obama is that most of the initiatives being discussed in Europe are medium-term or longer, too late to help him if the European crisis impacts on the US economy in the fall, just ahead of the election in November.