His instant invitation to France’s newly elected president, Francois Hollande, to White House talks on the eve of this weekend’s Group of Eight summit is evidence of a central fact in the United States: The states that will do most to determine the outcome of November’s presidential and congressional elections may not be swing states like Ohio but member states of the European Union.

On condition of anonymity, a senior EU official told Reuters it felt as if the Obama administration wanted the G8 to cooperate in the reelection campaign. “They see the debt crisis as the biggest likely drag on the U.S. economy between now and November,” the official said, “and so they basically want to make sure that we find a way of muddling through.”