*During his first year in office, President Obama was often best overseas when he was behind a lectern or onstage before a crowd with a microphone in his hand.
But in convening his first international summit — the largest on a single issue in Washington history — he focused more squarely on his relationship with world leaders. He slapped backs, kissed cheeks and met one on one with more than a dozen heads of state, leavening his appeal to shared security interests with a more personal diplomacy.
The approach marked a shift for Obama as he seeks to translate his popularity abroad into concrete support from fellow leaders for his foreign policy agenda, most urgently now in his push for stricter sanctions against Iran.
“He’s in charge, he’s chairing the meetings, and this is where his personality plays a big part,” said Pierre Vimont, the French ambassador to the United States, who compared Obama’s role during the summit to the way he led the bipartisan health-care meeting at Blair House in February.
Get MORE of this Washington Post article by Scott Wilson HERE.
Obama Video: ‘Sanctions aren’t a magic wand’ April 13: President Obama took to the world stage Tuesday to wrap up a two-day conference on global security and the threat of nuclear weapons. NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd reports