His cooperative tone helped some leaders begin to move beyond historical grudges against the US.
As America became distracted by the war on terror after 9/11, the region sought other partners.
Ahead of the Summit of the Americas, Spain has been quietly bolstering a common transatlantic agenda.
Summit of the Americas gathers the 34 democratically governed countries of the Western Hemisphere. But communist Cuba threatens to steal some of the spotlight.
Columbia Global Center, just opened in Amman, Jordan, is raising that city's status in the region.
The meeting's great success is $1.1 trillion in economic aid for the developing world, but other proposed solutions to the recession were vague.
A Christian Science perspective.
The country has put steep tariffs on an array of goods. Seventeen of the world's 20 largest economies have broken recent promises not to take protectionist measures.
While French and British leaders have been high profile, the low-key German chancellor is getting credit for the summit's regulatory focus.
The Obama-Hu exchange seemed to go well, while dinner Wednesday night gave Obama and Germany's Merkel a chance to reach greater détente.