Stretching across a range of continents, Christine Lagarde has begun her campaign for managing director of the IMF in earnest. In the U.S., French president Nicolas Sarkozy is applying pressure on President Obama for his approval of the French finance minister. According to The Wall Street Journal's Carol Lee, who is on White House pool duty today, Obama did not offer his support when Sarkozy brought up the topic at their G8 meeting in Deauville, France, today. “It did come up in the meeting and we know what France's position is," an unnamed senior administration official told Lee, adding, "We support the IMF process that they announced last weekend, which has a deadline of I think June 30th or so, and are confident that it will produce a good candidate."
The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Smith says the president will likely "come under intense lobbying pressure from the four European members of the G8 (and the E.U. Commission and Council Presidents, who are also both in Deauville for the summit) to throw his weight behind Lagarde, too." But any sense that a back-room deal is happening will infuriate emerging economies who'd like the process to play out openly. "The five largest emerging countries–including G8 member Russia–have already said that the MD’s job shouldn’t go to a European this time, but they have so far failed to agree on a single candidate," reports the Journal.