White House Tries to Blunt Euro Debt Crisis with Soccer, Cake

Photograph by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images

Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and others watch the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final in the Laurel Cabin conference room during the G8 Summit on May 19, 2012 at Camp David, Maryland.

Anyone up for a run? Cake? How about watching some football (even if it’s the European kind)?

The White House is taking great pains to show that the G-8 summit at Camp David this weekend is uniquely informal and frank.

The day began with President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron hitting the treadmills this morning.

Then when the world leaders negotiated the language of the G-8 communique (a joint statement issued after most summits of this kind), they used pen and paper and sat around a table with their sleeves rolled up to decide on it, according to Obama aides.

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told reporters that the two-day summit at Camp David stands in “stark contrast to the cavernous convention center and the motorcade movements that we usually have at these summits.”

Rhodes even said Obama was going to try to watch some soccer with Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel this afternoon. Bayern Munich faces Chelsea in the Champions League finals.

Michael Froman, Obama’s adviser on international economic affairs, told reporters that world leaders “are just walking through, walking down paths or sitting on patio’s unscripted, unplanned and that’s exactly what the president had in mind” when he decided to host the summit here in Maryland’s Catoctin woods.

Obama even had a chocolate birthday cake delivered to Japan’s Prime Minister Noda at a dinner last night.

The reviews of the group dynamic aside, the eurozone debt crisis and opposing views about pro-growth policies and austerity have dominated the weekend.

Perhaps it’s time for a cook out.

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