Obama in Berlin

Can’t find any pictures yet, but I’ve seen blogs of people coming up from Prague just to see him. That’s about a five-hour trip each way by train (no ICE connection yet). Expectations on the radio this morning were that the event would be huge.

Wish I could be there, but we’re getting packed up to move to Tbilisi, Georgia. Which of course means no more TV, so here are streams from German media. The top one will have commentary in German; the lower says it is in uncommented English. Speech starts at 18.50; presumably the streams will begin a bit before.

Update: Screen cap from ARD. The stream is spotty, wonder if the online flash crowd is too big?

Who wants to see Obama?

Who wants to see Obama?

Ok, this is huge.

10 thoughts on “Obama in Berlin

  1. Thanks, y’all. I caught the end on MSNBC, because the ARD link kept crapping out.

    So what did you think?

  2. Overall I thought it was OK but not great. He has given much better speeches. He had his rhetorical devices of the walls and the airlift and the associated idea of Berlin as a metaphor for a better world. But I didn’t get the sense of the speech as an intellectual engagement with the crowd as some of his speeches can be. I wonder if Americans will be a little surprised at the big applause he got for ridding the world of nuclear weapons. I think it’s a much bigger issue to a German crowd than it is in the US. Also big applause for Iraq and the criticism of torture. Anyway, he’ll get good visuals out of it.

  3. Ok, I’m officially an internet dummy today: There was a stream from Obama’s official site. Chalk it up to the stress of moving.

    I missed lots of the speech (hope it’s up on YouTube soon, or indeed on the candidate’s site) and my impression was also good but not great. But oh those pictures! The Berliner Morgenpost estimates 215,000 with lots of real Americans. They quote an American who came clear across Germany, from Saarbrücken. And perfect evening light, too; a minor miracle considering how crappy the weather’s been all week in Germany.

    Will try for something substantive after seeing the actual speech.

  4. It was a solid speech (for Obama’s standards) with some good Berlin references (Ernst Reuter instead of JFK). I guess “World citizen” instead “world power” sounds appealing for Europeans. I think the remarkable thing is the pure existence of the event, kind of a “globalisation of politics”. As somebody on German TV said “It seems that he is a candidate for the presidency of the world”

    Regarding content: no surprises there, a lot of global problems, a lot of shared responsibilites (as expected)! Interesting maybe the issue of nuclear disarmament. Haven’t heard any politician to call for that in the last decade or so. But of course symbolism prevails over content in every election campaign…

    From a European perspective we can note that he knows about the EU and generally it seems that he thinks highly of global institutions.

    Indeed, he will get nice visuals that show that he is respected and hugely popular in Europe which might give him some foreign policy credibility in the US. But probably a lot depends on the spin…

  5. The speech was okay. Midlist Obama. He started pretty slow, got to the uplifting stuff in the last ten minutes.

    Great crowd, yep.

    Doug M.

  6. Perfect PR anyway. There was much discussion in Germany whether Obama should be allowed to make his speech before the Siegessäule. TV stations, radios and journals were reporting on this issue for days. That was actualy how i got the news that he was coming in Germany in the first place.

  7. Pingback: Reactions to Obama’s Berlin speech « The 8th Circle

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