Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thoughts on Barack Obama's Berlin Beer Bash

It's been a beautiful day in Berlin. Temperatures are in the high 70's and the sun won't set until a quarter after nine. Plenty of beer has been brought to the Tiergarten in advance of Barack Obama's speech, which will also feature the usual colorful American political campaign trappings. With banners and posters banished from the site, Barack Obama will undoubtedly look like the American candidate for president of the EU.

Against this idyllic backdrop, David Warren speaks of Barack Obama:

He's a candle in the wind, a leaf on the breeze. He has no "vision" whatever, of his own or of America's place in the world. He is good at writing "charisma" speeches, and even better at delivering them.

Read what Ronald Reagan wrote, in his own hand, and often only to himself, over many years (there is the collection aptly entitled: Reagan, In His Own Hand) -- and you find a man who is consistently thinking about his people and his nation, about what is right and what will work. Then read Obama's Dreams From My Father. It is all about finding himself. It is a well-written book, an interesting piece of literature, but it is strictly narcissistic.

And therein lies the problem. Or, as one blogger puts it, "Obama at the Tiergarten! Next Week Elton John!!" It's 7:00 pm in Berlin, and the police are estimating the crowd at 3,000 in the speech area.

Having read some indications that a few American soldiers believed that Barack Obama snubbed them on his visit to Iraq, I was sorry to see that he changed his mind about visiting the injured in Germany.


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