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.
You heard it hear first, an American President actually brought people closer together acting as a mediator. Could this be signs of a new role for the US to play in the 21st Century? We can only hope. And this is no small issue, China is fiercely protective of their banking centers and the French are on a regulatory rampage. Bringing these two parties closer together kept the G20 from moving towards an unworkable situation.
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."
If only Obama could go to Congress without causing an incident, I think it would help if some Republicans would have to lie in front of him. Anyone remember when he took Lieberman into a corner, shut him up for a good week.
ABC News Blog
Updating with Good Links to monitoring the G20 Fallout:
President of France
"President Obama really found the consensus," Sarkozy told reporters after the meeting. "He didn't focus exclusively on stimulus ... In fact it was he who managed to help me persuade [Chinese] President Hu Jintao to agree to the reference to the ... publication of a list of tax havens, and I wish to thank him for that."
Chancellor of Germany
In her news conference, Merkel noted that "the American president also put his hand into this."
The warm words followed weeks of sharp divisions between the U.S. and the United Kingdom, on one side, and France and Germany on the other, over whether to increase government spending to help kick start the global economy.
Thanks for the Rec, now I've had to Spell Check and add on to a meager diary.