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July 24th, 2008
06:45 AM ET

Morning buzz: Obama ein Berliner?

US President John F. Kennedy delivers his famous speech ''I am a Berliner'' (''ich bin ein Berliner'' ) in front of the city hall in West Berlin concerning the Berlin Wall, June 26, 1963.

US President John F. Kennedy delivers his famous speech ''I am a Berliner'' (''ich bin ein Berliner'' ) in front of the city hall in West Berlin concerning the Berlin Wall, June 26, 1963.

Barclay Palmer
AC360 Senior Producer

Good morning!! “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

With those words, nearly half a century ago, John F. Kennedy reassured Berliners, and Europe as a whole, that he would stand by them despite the Soviet Union’s erection of the Berlin Wall and its threatening clampdown on travel between East and West Berlin. The speech was one of the defining moments of the Cold War, expressing democracy’s defiance of the Kremlin’s totalitarian control.

Today, Barack Obama taps into that history with a speech in Berlin on the US-European relationship at the Victory Column before a crowd that Berlin authorities predict could reach a million people. Candy Crowley reports his campaign insists that it‘s not a political event, but adds that it could be the highlight of his trip abroad, and it has not ruled out using video in campaign ads.

As with all campaign events, it is an opportunity and a risk… Will he come across as presumptuous, or will he inspire, as he has done in some speeches before?

Obama is massively popular in Europe. One newspaper calls his appearance today “The Obama Show.” A magazine printed cut-out American flags that Berliners can wave at the speech.

However, as Christiane Amanpour reports today, Europeans want to hear more specifics about his plans. And Obama promises to deliver: "I think the world is keenly interested in this election and I think they're hungry for a sense of where America is going," he told reporters. “I'm hoping to communicate across the Atlantic the value of that relationship and how we need to build on it."

John McCain, meanwhile, is painting Obama as out of touch, and working to show that HE would take care of folks at home, first. CNN’s Dana Bash calls it counter-programming.

McCain says his energy plans, including more offshore drilling in environmentally protected areas, have helped Americans by helping drive down oil prices. And tonight, he joins 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong at a town hall meeting on cancer in Columbus, Ohio.

We’ll drill down on all this tonight on AC360 at 11PM... AND… We will delve into the issues raised by Soledad O’Brien’s critically acclaimed special, BLACK IN AMERICA. Part 2 airs tonight, looking at the lives and roles of African American men in this country.

Please tune in, and thank you for joining us.


Filed under: Barclay Palmer • T1 • The Buzz
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Erica

    Anderson,

    I think that you should get the wives of the candidates together and have them converse, not debate, but talk as two people within this political presidential running. Also, they can respond to the various trials and tribulations that are occuring at home and abroad and definiltely put their two cents in about how they feel about the war and other issues of today that many people may still need clarification about. To hear a womens point of view in an all male presidential race would be very refreshing.

    July 25, 2008 at 2:30 am |
  2. Erica

    Obama in Europe is a good move for him. His speech may have been a bit nieve, but it shows how he wants to repare the troubles abroad and bring the support back that is desperately needed from those abroad. If he can do that he is worth being a president. He has extended his self not just to his supoorters here in the USA, but to those abroad.

    July 25, 2008 at 2:22 am |
  3. Annie Kate

    Europeans aren't the only ones waiting to hear specifics. Americans, who haven't been seduced by the Pied Piper of Politics, are still looking for specifics so we can better judge who will be the best to vote for. It may well turn out to be Obama but we'd like a little bit more to go on than inspiration.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 24, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  4. Laraine in Pittsburgh

    Anderson,

    After watching Obama's speech in Berlin, I was hard-pressed to find anything to criticize. To be able to send a message of global unification and receive this kind of response, will be extremely beneficial in repairing the damage done to our credibility and status throughout the world. We're lucky to have him.,

    July 24, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  5. pittsburgh

    Anderson,
    After watching Obama's speech in Berlin, I was hard-pressed to find anything to critcize. To be able to send a message of global unification and receive this kind of response, will be extremely beneficial in repairing the damage done to our credibility and status throughout the world. We're lucky to have him.

    July 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  6. deborah, OH

    Good morning, Barclay, Anderson, Erica, & all!
    Soledad's show was very revealing last night–I always hope to learn something new, & did. And Anderson' s 360 followup was good, as always. My computer decided not to work at 10:50 PM, so no blogging.

    Because of gas constraints, can't go to the James in Columbus today (1/2 hr. drive away) for McCain's visit. Bummer!

    Sorry, but Obama seems more presumptuous to me on this 'fact-finding' trip. And, I, like a lot of others I talk to, still hear no real substance from either candidate on sme of the issues.

    Have a good day all!

    July 24, 2008 at 10:24 am |
  7. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    Good Morning Anderson
    Great Special last night Black inAmerica covering all aspects of struggle and chalenges they are facing.Obama's European trip is all show and sustance but what is his plans and is he out of touch as John Mccain says. Who are ya gonna call at 3 am Obama or Mccain?

    Have a great day Anderson see you on 360.

    July 24, 2008 at 10:21 am |
  8. Dolores, Austin Texas

    Morning Anderson, we here in Texas are relieved that Dolly is almost gone, I happen to work for a State Government Agency who already this morning have received calls from the folks down in South Texas that have damage to their homes and property, so far nothing serious. I hope you have a wonderful day.

    July 24, 2008 at 9:48 am |