We continue on with the magical mystery tour that is Obama's European summer vacation. If you would like to read an artfully written medieval fairy tale version of the Obama candidacy, go here. And, the writer is a Brit. It was published before the campaign's arrival in London.
Yesterday, I read another interesting post on Z's blog, about the Obama speech in Berlin. Her husband, a German, and she lived in Germany and keep up with the press there. She pointed to an article in a German newspaper. Go here to read it. It refers to the "Obama show", as the German press is calling the appearance, and how typical Germans perceived the candidate. More than 67% polled think Obama can not live up to his hype.
"How come the German and the Berlin taxpayer has to pony up 250,000 euros so that Obama gets a nice television backdrop for his campaign?" asked one irritated blogger on the website of a local newspaper". The response from another went like this: "What do want, McCain to win? that person asked. "It would be good if Obama won, and he can only do that if he convinces voters back home via the TV. So let the cameras show masses of people flocking to Obama through the Brandenburg Gate." I guess the blogger didn't know the venue changed. The article ended with : "Now the Democratic candidate hopes that huge crowds of cheering supporters, mostly foreign, at Victory Column will help him win November's election in the US."
You'll notice Obama and his handlers didn't do the speech in Paris.
Obama went to work out at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin, this ordinary man, instead of visiting the injured American soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. At first, the campaign said they decided against going there because it would look like a political campaign move for publicity. Then, when that didn't wash so well with reporters, Retired military adviser Scott Graton lied to the reporters that the Pentagon asked the campaign not to go. The Pentagon countered with the statement that that statement was untrue. The Pentagon asked that Obama go with only one aide and no cameras. So, there's your truth. If he doesn't make it into a campaign commercial, why bother?
This is yet another moment of shallowness presented by this man. No camera rolling? Not going. There's your change.
When Obama was in Iraq and Afghanistan he noticed that the cable station playing on the televisions on bases was Fox News. He "wondered out loud" if the Commander (thinly veiled jab at Bush) chose the channel. [h/t Jo, whose hubby was deployed to Afghanistan] And, no, Mr. Harvard Law Review, it is the soldiers themselves that chose the network. Like John Kerry, do you think the troops are stupid? That the troops are too dense to realize which international cable network actually supports them and their mission's success? And, news flash, the troops like the President. Why? Because, if nothing else is true about President Bush, it is the fact that he does what he says he will do and he stands firm. His word is trusted.
David Brooks wrote in his column today in The New York Times: "Much of the rest of the speech fed the illusion that we could solve our problems if only people mystically come together. We should help Israelis and Palestinians unite. We should unite to prevent genocide in Darfur. We should unite so the Iranians won't develop nukes. Or as Obama put it:"The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down." "The great illusion of the 1990's, Brooks continues, was that we were entering an era of global convergence in which politics and power didn't matter. What Obama offered in Berlin flowed right out of this mind-set. This was the end of history on acid. Since then, autocracies have arisen, the competition for resources has grown fiercer, Russia has clamped down, Iran is on the march. It will take politics and power to address these challenges, the two factors that dare not speak their name in Obama's lofty peroration."
"He has grown accustomed to putting on this sort of saccharine show for the rock concert masses, and in Berlin his act jumped the shark. His words drift far from reality, and not only when talking about the Senate Banking Committee. His Berlin Victory Column treacle would have made Niebuhr sick to his stomach."
Brooks ends with this: "Obama has benefited from a week of good images. But substantively, optimism without reality isn't eloquence. It's just Disney."
And, finally, Victor Davis Hanson has a good read on the whole 'citizen of the world' description Obama assumes. In National Review Online Hanson rejects the description for himself. For all of Obama's platitudes about the world working together to solve all the problems of the world, the world didn't save Berlin in WWII. Nor did the world save Rwanda or Iraq or the Muslims of the Balkans. It was the U.S. Air Force. For all of his pandering to 'the world', what was the biggest applause line? It was when he spoke of withdrawing from Iraq. Surprise? Hardly. They remained mute as he demanded that Germany send more support to Afghanistan. Why? Because it's not going to happen. Commander in chief is not on the job training for a surrender monkey. He wants to save Afghanis more than Iraqis? Is that the choice he thinks must be made? Even while troops are already coming home, responsibly, from Iraq?
How are the soldiers in Afghanistan to trust a politician that voted to cut their funding while they were on the ground in that country? And, went on a 'fact finding' trip after he wrote out his opinion on Afghanistan and Iraq for The New York Times? And, refuses to admit the surge worked and the soldiers are responsible for that victory? He is not worthy.
Wonder if he credited Bono with his line of 'we are the change we have been waiting for' that he even pulled out in Berlin. Rock star that he is, you know.