Time To Come Home

Most leaders at last week's G8 summit in Japan shared a dubious distinction: they're unloved at home. George W. Bush is so unpopular his own party doesn't know what to do with him. Same goes for Gordon Brown. Nicolas Sarkozy's approval numbers keep sliding, and Yasuo Fukuda's are in the pits.

Among other things, this suggests we should expect less emphasis on high-profile summitry in the days ahead. Apart from Russians, who are enjoying a commodities boom—and are rewarding their president for it—citizens of other G8 nations are suffering from rising prices plus slower economic growth and a relative decline in their nation's power. So they're ever more likely to lose patience with leaders who focus on international issues. Most people, according to polls, now consider the economy at home to be their top priority. The message is clear: voters want more attention paid to them at home. Politicians take note.