At the G20 America is perhaps inevitably on the sidelines. Exhorting. Not laying down the law. But some worry that has become almost doctrine.
President Obama's actions abroad can exacerbate existing worries about its role in the world.
America may seem too young a country to be suffering from a mid-life crisis. But people who grew up in a nation that never doubted its power, wealth and vigour are suffering status anxiety.
Are they no longer the best? Doomed to decline?
From those fears flow more questions. Have they been too arrogant? Are they no longer feared? Is being loved more important?
President Obama inherited this; he didn't invent it. more