Global Politics

Obama in Germany

(What was the focus of his speech?) He tried to electrify the crowd, who was mostly young people. The atmosphere was more like a happening. He talked about the spirit of Berlin, he referred to the airlift, he talked about tearing down walls. It was a good speech and well received. (What is the symbolism of where Obama made the speech?) The victory columns symbolizes the victory of the Prussian Army in the 19th century against France, Denmark and Austria. He had to go there because Chancellor Merkel didn't want him to speak in front of the old Berlin Wall directly. (Obama spoke today of tearing down new walls. How do Germans feel about that symbolism?) They feel the same. 10 years ago the vast majority of Germans had a good image of America, and that is the opposite now, mostly due to the last 8 years. (Obama pressed Germans to offer more help to NATO. Does that resonate with Germans?) No it does not, but he was not very specific about his demands. If he would it would be unpopular because the Afghan War is also unpopular. (Do you think Obama was treated like a senator in Berlin or a president?) Much more like a president. One could wonder whether he already is the president.

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