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Friday, July 25, 2008

What people who don't have a vested interest in seeing John McCain become president have to say about Obama's Berlin speech
Posted by Jill | 7:34 AM
As I posted earlier, Joe Scarborough is being a good little concern troll, as was David Gregory last night on Race to the White House:

...Richard Wolffe on Countdown:

and just about everyone else in the U.S. media.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the reception is far different. Der Spiegel:

Anyone who saw Barack Obama at Berlin's Siegessäule on Thursday could recognize that this man will become the 44th president of the United States. He is more than ambitious -- he wants to lay claim to become the president of the world.

It was a ton to absorb -- and what a stupendous ride through world history: the story of his own family, the Berlin Airlift, terrorists, poorly secured nuclear material, the polar caps, World War II, America's errors, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, freedom. It's amazing anyone could pack such a potpourri of issues into the space of a speech that lasted less than 30 minutes.

So what sticks? That Barack Obama is a passionate politician who is fixated on -- and takes very seriously -- his desire for a better world. That he is an impressive speaker who knows how to casually draw his audience into his image of the world -- one who doesn't have any need to resort to the kind of cheap effects that tend to prompt the uproarious applause of an audience. That he is a typical American -- an idealist in the true spirit of the American success story who is now very casually making his claim to becoming something akin to the president of the world.

Anyone who saw him make the short way from the Victory Column in Berlin on Thursday to the podium saw a man with the serious gait of a basketball player, a man who seemed young, decisive and focused. For those who witnessed his appearance in Berlin, it is hard to imagine that John McCain has any chance. McCain is 25 years his senior, a man who because of the torture he endured in Vietnam is in constant pain -- unable to comb his hair or lift his arm in celebration.

Europe is witnessing the 44th president of the United States during this trip. Anyone who listens to him realizes that he is not only ambitious but will also make demands. In the inner circles of Angela Merkel's Chancellery, he is reportedly seen as a pleasant person, one who arouses curiosity.

However, he is also certain to demand the help of the Germans, Brits and French in Afghanistan and Iraq. He's not going to let NATO shirk its duty -- and therein lie the perils of the engaging "we" and the catchy "Yes, we can." Otherwise all these hard-nosed Europeans will hope and pray that the future President Obama isn’t really all that serious about the saving the world of tomorrow, the polar caps, Darfur and the poppy harvest over in Afghanistan.

Der Spiegel has its concerns about Obama and about his own interpretation of an appropriate use of American power. But at least the German press isn't clutching its pearls about whether "citizen of the world" somehow means that Obama is renouncing his citizenship.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Slightly off topic, but...
A few days ago Obama was severely criticized when he suggested that Americans need to learn "Spanish" -- which was really more a symbolic "we need to learn SOME foreign language" and more about foreign cultures...

So here we have an American, speaking ENGLISH, to a largely GERMAN audience in GERMANY.. As far as I could tell, there was no simultaneous translation available to the audience, yet they all seemed to be following him closely. At least they applauded in all the right places and almost immediately [no translation delay at least!]

When was the last time you heard a non-Anglophone politician speaking his own language to a large group of Americans in any venue in this country? Do you think that you ever will?

I wonder why the Rethugs who are so opposed to multi-lingualism [or is it only that everyone should know and use English? Exclusively!?] worry so? If they had their way no one would have understood him anyway.

Blogger Steve said...
Yes, I can only get NBC News on my rabbit ears and the bias for McCain is plainly obvious:
*Brian Williams lecturing Obama on how his Berlin appearance gets no electoral votes at home and how McCain has leveled "sharp criticisms" of same appearance. And why won't Obama admit that the Serge is working?
*Kelly O'Donnell keeps saying that McCain is taking advantage of Obama being out of the country by explaining his economic program to voters at home, yet she has not seen fit to tell us viewers what that program is - except for off-shore drilling.
*Mrs Alan 'ARM's Have a Place in the Market' Greenspan's comments - need I say more?

I think we need to be aware of the larger NBC picture here. That news organization was one of the biggest cheerleaders and propellers of Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq- which included Katie Cuoric at the time, BTW. McCain is claiming that the Serge is working and victory is at hand. That proposition would vindicate the illegal invasion and therefore validate NBC and all the other MSMs that promoted the war.
If the gang at NBC can keep peddling this McCain victory theme then all those "Operation Iraqi Freedom" DVD's,(with a special introduction by Tom Brokaw), can go back on sale and they can finally clear out that dusty corner of the NBC commissary for more Today coffee mugs, and Tim Russert T-shirt inventory.xibqv

Blogger Bob said...
Fortunately, Barack's coming home over the weekend. This trip was unavoidable, & if Hillary wants to know one way she screwed things up it was that he couldn't do it two or three months ago when the timing would've been better. He may have been able to take two trips, one to Europe & another to the war zones.