For those who ever doubted that effective diplomacy cannot lead to results, and that our new president is a skilled diplomat, read this:
According to sources inside the room, President Obama just played peacemaker in a spat between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China.
In the finaly plenary session among the G-20 leaders, Sarkozy and Hu were having a heated disagreement about tax havens.
The exchange between Sarkozy and Hu got so heated, said a source — who is not a member of the Obama administration — it was threatening the unity of the G-20 leaders' meeting.
Obama to the rescue:
But Mr. Obama, according to this account, stepped between the two men, urging them to try to find consensus, and giving them a "pep talk" about the importance of working together.
The senior adminstration official said that Mr. Obama pulled Mr. Sarkozy aside, took him to a corner, "and discussed possible alternatives," the senior official said.
Once they arrived at one, President Obama "sent a message to the Chinese" that a counter-offer was on the table. The Chinese spent some time considering the offer. But they took a few minutes.
So Mr. Obama, with the assistance of translators, suggested that he and Mr. Hu have a conversation as well. They, too went to the corner to talk. After a few minutes, Mr. Obama called upon Mr. Sarkozy to join them.
"Translators and sherpas in tow, they reached an agreement," the official said. "There was a multiple shaking of hands."
And that's how it's done.