While it was certainly not the motivation for the switch, it strikes me that moving the G-8 conference to the underutilized Camp David from Chicago hearkens back to an older way of doing politics that many Americans might not be used to. On the surface, it might surprise some that it is not the Chicago-machine style of politics I am referring to. Indeed, Rahm Emanuel's reaction after he was informed that the meeting of economic superpowers was being moved serves as strong evidence that Windy City business as usual cannot be counted on (at least always; the NATO summit is still scheduled for Chicago later this year) from the Obama Administration. No, Obama is invoking another style of politics that many of his detractors nonetheless decry in equal measure; classic European diplomacy.
Though the style hasn't perhaps been on evidence as often as opponents were worried about when Obama first started discussing new ways of reaching out to friends and foes alike, European diplomacy will get its chance in the spotlight during the G-8. The presidential country estate will be perfect, with numerous nooks and crannies, for having the sort of quiet, private conversations which have gotten business done in the Old World for centuries. Unlike Chicago proper, with its inevitable hordes of anti-establishmentarians, ranks swelling with the nouveau Occupy class, Camp David will be on lock-down for the duration of the event. This should provide a wonderful backdrop for the exertion of soft power in a way that Chicago just couldn't. Some of the few remaining neo-cons in the country might not love the style (in a strange show of unity with Occupiers...). However, with the state of the global economy, there would seem to be no better time than the present to try something old.