The 'Obama Effect' in Germany

In case you hadn't noticed, there is a full fledged, trans-atlantic kerfluffle going on over Barack Obama's request to deliver a major address at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate - a cold war icon but now a symbol of a re-united Germany.

The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel is fearful of offending the other potential president in the race, John McCain, while also being cognizant of offending the Bush administration who may see the German's deference to Obama as a sign they can't wait for Bush to be out of office.

This may be true. And it is also true that the ignorant German public is wild for Obama, guaranteeing tens of thousands of people for any speech he might give in such a classic venue.

But even some members of Merkel's governing party see an upside to allowing Obama to speak. They hope that the Democrat's celebrity rubs off on them and that they bask in the glow of the messiah's popularity.

Obama for his part is eager to stand in the place that Kennedy and Reagan stood when they made their earth shaking speeches. To think that this beginner, this piker has the gall to compare himself to either of those two men should strike a little fear in the hearts of American voters. That, and Obama's curious and disturbing attraction to mass rallies that are reminiscent more of dictatorships than democracies.

Hubris and megalomania are two qualities most Americans don't want in their president.

It appears that the mayor of Berlin is moving toward granting Obama's wish. Mayor Klaus Wowereit
said yesterday that "We will prepare a warm welcome for him and will undertake all measures necessary so that he can deliver his message in Berlin." With that sentiment being echoed throughout the German government and even among opposition parties, it seems likely that on July 24, Barack Obama will stand where giants before him stood and speak to all of Europe. Whether he has anything substantive to say is doubtful.

That won't matter as his easy platitudes and soothing rhetoric will cause the usual overhyped reaction and the Europeans will proclaim him the second coming of JFK.

Things just keep getting rougher for McCain. Now he has to contend with most of the free world instead of just his Democratic opponent.
In case you hadn't noticed, there is a full fledged, trans-atlantic kerfluffle going on over Barack Obama's request to deliver a major address at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate - a cold war icon but now a symbol of a re-united Germany.

The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel is fearful of offending the other potential president in the race, John McCain, while also being cognizant of offending the Bush administration who may see the German's deference to Obama as a sign they can't wait for Bush to be out of office.

This may be true. And it is also true that the ignorant German public is wild for Obama, guaranteeing tens of thousands of people for any speech he might give in such a classic venue.

But even some members of Merkel's governing party see an upside to allowing Obama to speak. They hope that the Democrat's celebrity rubs off on them and that they bask in the glow of the messiah's popularity.

Obama for his part is eager to stand in the place that Kennedy and Reagan stood when they made their earth shaking speeches. To think that this beginner, this piker has the gall to compare himself to either of those two men should strike a little fear in the hearts of American voters. That, and Obama's curious and disturbing attraction to mass rallies that are reminiscent more of dictatorships than democracies.

Hubris and megalomania are two qualities most Americans don't want in their president.

It appears that the mayor of Berlin is moving toward granting Obama's wish. Mayor Klaus Wowereit
said yesterday that "We will prepare a warm welcome for him and will undertake all measures necessary so that he can deliver his message in Berlin." With that sentiment being echoed throughout the German government and even among opposition parties, it seems likely that on July 24, Barack Obama will stand where giants before him stood and speak to all of Europe. Whether he has anything substantive to say is doubtful.

That won't matter as his easy platitudes and soothing rhetoric will cause the usual overhyped reaction and the Europeans will proclaim him the second coming of JFK.

Things just keep getting rougher for McCain. Now he has to contend with most of the free world instead of just his Democratic opponent.