With Hollande, Obama gets a new like-minded ally

But in the past few months, Mr. Sarkozy has parted from the White House in his support of the German-led austerity project in the debt-soaked euro zone, a project that the White House objects to on the grounds that cutting budgets too soon will lead to sluggish growth and high unemployment across Europe without satisfying the demands of skittish bond investors…

Mr. Hollande seems “naturally more palatable to the administration,” said Justin Vaïsse, the director of research for the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. The administration seems to reason that “Europe probably has a better chance of avoiding a breakup or another renewed sovereign debt crisis by focusing on growth, rather than just sticking to austerity,” he said.

A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid disturbing diplomatic relations, said that the Obama administration looked forward to working with Mr. Hollande, and that it did not believe that making changes to the fiscal compact would spook markets or threaten the validity of the overall agreement, which helped bring down sovereign debt yields this winter.