When the British Prime Minister dropped in a year ago, Barack Obama threw him a party and took him to a basketball game.
This time, the move was sober and businesslike as the two leaders face domestic problems crowding in – and the dilemma of how to stem the bloodshed in Syria.
From the moment he landed in the United States on Monday morning, Mr Cameron has suffered the crippling distraction of Tory infighting over Europe. The Downing Street team is even considering sending reinforcements back to London on Tuesday to deal with the turmoil.
Mr Obama may not have rolled out the red carpet for his British visitor, but he gave him something far more valuable – presidential endorsement of his EU strategy.
Alas, the Prime Minister could not return the favour in their end-of-meeting press conference in the opulent surroundings of the White House’s East Room.
Mr Obama was tackled over a developing scandal over the targeting of right-wing organisations by the US tax authorities and the continuing reverberations from the murder of four Americans in Libya last year.
Mr Cameron listened silently, perhaps reminded that all politics is local.
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