Barack Obama arrived in Berlin Thursday for the European leg of a world tour designed to burnish his foreign-policy credentials. His first stop was Berlin, where a huge crowd is expected to show up for a speech in which he will call for greater cooperation between the U.S. and Europe. (Reuters)
What the commentators said
Obama conquered Europe before he arrived, said Arielle Thedrel in the French daily Le Figaro (translation help). In Germany, France, and Great Britain, people love him as much as they hate George W. Bush, and see him as the second coming of John F. Kennedy. “Europe has already voted for Obama.”
That's precisely why “Obama's stop in Berlin will be the perfect high point for his rockstar world tour,” said Cameron Abadi in The New Republic’s The Plank blog. The hero’s welcome he’ll receive will improve his chances at winning the presidency by showing that he can deal with the world. That will seal the success of a trip that was always more about “gravitas than political substance.”
If Obama’s European jaunt has any impact on American voters, said Investor’s Business Daily in an editorial, it should steer them toward John McCain. Europeans prefer the Democrat Obama over his GOP rival because he “espouses the moral equivalency of nations, rather than importance of U.S. leadership,” which goes over big in places where people "loathe much of what America stands for.”
Actually, the excitement generated by Obama is a good sign, no matter who wins the presidency, said Jay Bookman in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It suggests that “the damage to our reputation and moral authority” over the last few years “does not need to be permanent,” because the world is still hungry for leadership by the America it once knew.