Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Barry Does Berlin

The Insufferable Airhorn wraps up his G8 Summit with a bilateral meeting with French President Francois Hollande today, boards Air Force One around 1:30PM Eastern and arrives in Berlin around 2:25PM.

On Wednesday he’ll get the opportunity he was denied as a presidential candidate in 2008 to give a speech at Berlin’s most famous landmark, the Brandenburg Gate.

Germany’s Deutche Welle notes that, “when he came to the German capital five years ago, Barack Obama was given a regal reception. But as he heads back to Berlin for the first time as US president, he'll find that ‘Obamania’ is a thing of the past.”

Constanze Stelzenmueller, a transatlantic relations expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin confesses that, "He's become somewhat demystified."

Germans who viewed him as the great hope of world politics in 2008 are markedly disappointed that his regime hasn’t changed U.S foreign and security policies.

Revelations about the scale of the U.S. National Security Agency’s Internet surveillance program Prism have caused great angst in Germany, where data privacy is seen as an important aspect of personal freedom—so much so that even Google Street View has raised hackles.

Past comparisons overshadow the Insufferable Airhorn’s Berlin visit.  Fifty years ago this month, John F. Kennedy wowed a large crowd with the morale-boosting words “Ich bin ein Berliner.” In 1987, President Reagan stood with the gate behind him and demanded that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev "tear down this wall."

With his favorability tanking back home, the errand boy sent by grocery clerks is seeking to stroke his ego with his mostly symbolic visit to Berlin.  He’s hoping that he can show the sheeple that he is still liked abroad.

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