Friday, 25 July 2008

Obama Does Europe

It would be fair to guess that even in his wildest dreams, Barack Obama never envisaged standing before 200,000 adoring Germans with euphoric applause washing over him.
I watched it live on TV and was genuinely surprised by the reception afforded to the Democrat nominee who was standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate delivering a message of mending fences between Europe and America.
The trip to this side of the Atlantic has been a resounding success which must really chime with the Republican Party who have been whistling in the wind at home for the past week as the focus has been on Obama who said all the right things at the right time in Berlin and Paris.
Tonight he was standing beside French President, Nicolas Sakorzy, decrying what he described as "caricatures" on both sides of the Atlantic, with Europeans viewing the US as militaristic in their foreign policy, and Americans viewing Europeans as unwilling "to get their hands dirty" in world affairs.
So just why has Europe gone crazy for Obama? The simple answer is that we see in Obama exactly what he hopes Americans will see in him when it comes to their trip to the voting booth in November, a complete and wholesale change from the Bush era.
Obama tops every poll in which Europeans choose between him and McCain for US President, but Obama is not standing here and we don't have a vote but his team will hope that it proves to watching Americans that he is a man who can confidently stride the world stage and regain his country the respect it has been leaking at an alarming rate for the past eight years.
Europeans know that America hold the key to war or peace, wielding enormous influence on dragging European governments into conflicts, Iraq is the only too painful evidence of that. It is no surprise that many Europeans are now crying out for a less aggressive, more altruistic America that they can look towards with fondness again.
If elected Obama will be facing some tricky decisions with regards to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine and Israel, decisions that could yet rupture the good will he has built here but for now we are happy to heap praise and admiration on a man whose most favourable characteristic is that he is increasingly looking like the longed for antidote to George Bush.


annie said...

"Hope" has been terribly overused this election year, but it sure does resonate with the masses here and abroad.

With Obama, there is hope again.
These dark years warrant a bright spot, and the junior senator from Illinois is clearly just that.

Now bring on your typical rebuttals, nay-sayers.

Lucy said...

I heard McCain mentioned as Bush Lite today, thought it summed him up very well. It would be hard to imagine him receiving a reception like Obama has got over here, hard to imagine any other World leader getting it actually.

Anonymous said...

I think we all want hope. And that simple message has resonated.

Look out of the 'uppity negro' type posts - they are coming already from the USA. His race is such as issue there. Us here in NZ - and I think you in the UK - simply cannot relate to that.

Nate Peele said...

I really felt sorry for John McCain. With Obama in Europe he couldn't get any press coverage to save his life. When Obama was at the Brandenburg Gate he gave a stunning speech at a German restaurant in Ohio, but didn't get nearly equal time. I still think a lot of people will look fondly back at the Bush administration.

David G said...

I agree with your last sentence, Nate. Especially the people that made lots of money out of recent wars to say nothing of the oil companies and corporations like Haliburton.

Ruth, you lot in N.Z. are to be congratulated for putting a price on Condi's head. Shame more countries didn't think the same!


Lucy said...

That must be quite a few NZ dollars
on Condi's head, it seems too big for her body, gives her that lollipop look Victoria Beckham does so well.

Anonymous said...

Oh it was only $5000. Not worth much eh ;-)

Jack said...

Obama speaks well but I have yet to hear him provide a real plan for change.

Easy to say, hard to do.