U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke before a cheering crowd of over 200,000 in Berlin, Germany yesterday. "The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand," Obama said, speaking not far from where the Berlin Wall once divided the city. As Gerhard Spörl in Der Spiegel puts it, Europe is witnessing the 44th president of the United States:
Hopefully, President Obama can repair the image of the United States, which has plummeted around the world since the beginning of the 21st Century.… Barack Obama is a passionate politician who is fixated on -- and takes very seriously -- his desire for a better world. That he is an impressive speaker who knows how to casually draw his audience into his image of the world -- one who doesn't have any need to resort to the kind of cheap effects that tend to prompt the uproarious applause of an audience. That he is a typical American -- an idealist in the true spirit of the American success story who is now very casually making his claim to becoming something akin to the president of the world.
He also could have said: We are a world power, the only one on the planet at the moment, and I intend to act as if this were the case. But you're also allowed to participate in the attempt to try to save the world -- at least a bit of it. In that sense I am different from George W. Bush, very different. Indeed, Barack Obama has his own sound -- it's more utopian, he speaks of the general human desire for better conditions for all of humanity; and he speaks of the longing for strong and dynamic presidents and chancellors who are capable of acting on a global scale. With this drive and this radiance, he managed to drive Hillary Clinton out of the campaign. It is also the way he will outpace John McCain by November 4. It is the way he took the hearts of Americans by storm, and it is the way he is now taking Europe by storm.
Europe is witnessing the 44th president of the United States during this trip….