July 24th, 2008
12:01 PM ET

With Obama in Berlin – Ich bein ein reporter

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.obama.tel.aviv.jpg caption="Senator Barack Obama, waves as he boards his campaign plane in Tel Aviv, Thursday. Obama is en route to Berlin, kicking off the European leg of his overseas trip."]
Candy Crowley
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

Tel Aviv to Berlin – aboard a plane we can believe in.

If I have calculated the time difference correctly, you are reading this blog at approximately… next winter.

So here I am with the presumptive Democratic nominee - streaking across the Middle East and Europe on a five-day campaign trip …oh sorry. A journey to discuss substantive issues with important U.S. allies, Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams.

Reader's Digest version of things you may have missed on a TV set near you:

We didn't get to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. For some reason, the Pentagon thought reporters following Obama around Iraq would make the trip look political.

So we met up with him in Amman, a starkly beautiful city the color of sand with pockets of poverty and a Four Seasons Hotel, archaeological digs exposing secrets of the ages and a KFC.

Beep, beep: digression ahead.

Unless you can get a leave of absence from work, I would put off the Chicago to Amman trip until retirement. It's a long way. Also, using the velocity times density formula - if you sit three across in economy, the trip is twice as long.

So, in Jordan Obama basically told us that everything he learned in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan reinforced what he thought before he went.

Then he went and had dinner with King Abdullah for a serious discussion of matters of mutual importance with a key U.S. ally in the Middle East peace process—according to what they told us.

The part we saw was the King driving his Mercedes to the airport with Obama riding shotgun while the Secret Service agents sweated bullets (sorry it's the sleep deprivation).

Then we flew to Israel in the dead of night. I'm not sure what day it was but I think it was next week.

Obama held a string of meetings with every known Israeli politician, and drove through the security checkpoint on the West Bank into Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leaders. All the meetings were serious discussions of matters of mutual importance - pretty much Iran.

BTW, Israeli President Shimon Peres was so effusive praising Obama, I think he made the short list for VP.

So we are off to Germany where Obama is holding a campaign ral– um, giving a speech. A little while ago he came back to see us in steerage from his "Obama ‘O8" embroidered BarcaLounger in the front cabin and promised his speech won't be wonky.

It's come one, come all. A German paper says all may be "hundreds of thousands."

I feel a campaign ad coming on.

Obama also says he's not going to speak German, mainly because he can't. I suggested he say, "Ich bin ein presidential candidate," and that is the moment I learned we do not have the same sense of humor.

Nap time.

Gute Nacht, although it may be Guten Morgen.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Candy Crowley • Raw Politics • T1
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Carol ... Atlanta, GA

    Candy Crowley is hilarious. Love her take on the Obama trip and glad to see she was included in the trip with the three network top newscasters. There has to be some levity published among this very very long presidential campaign, regardless of who one thinks should be, will be, president.

    July 25, 2008 at 7:39 am |
  2. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Candy,
    Great blog – very funny! I really enjoy your reporting, great job! You must be in Paris by now. Say hi to my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Also, there's a McDonalds next to the Grand Arch – You can order a Big Mac, fries and a Beer. What a country! Have fun! See you later.

    July 25, 2008 at 7:37 am |
  3. Delphine, Netherlands.EU

    It was a memorable day, and Barack Obama's speech was awesome!
    On the other hand, there whas Mccain, in a fake german restaurant, grinning his teeth about 'not getting as much attention'.
    True.Who cares if Mccain visits Israel ? The more Johnny sees presidency fade away, the more childish he starts to act.

    If you see Barack Obama having presidency up for grabs, i am proud my son is an born american!

    July 25, 2008 at 6:34 am |
  4. mark

    Obama is an incredible elitist. Who made him representative of this country? He goes around the world acting. Acting like the words he says are anything but written by his campaign stategist. He says what everyone wants him to say and yet NO ONE knows what he believes in. One day he says one thing the next state or country he says another. One day he says he had no relationship with Rezko then when he goes on trial Obama admits he has more of a relationship with this man who gets Muslims elected.
    Obama is receiving his funding from "Kindheart" the organization funding Hammas before they got shut down by our government.
    The terrorist love him. Wonder why?
    The people of our country are so stupid that they are giving away our country just to keep Republicans out. Why the heck wouldn't you vote Hillary in then. At least she isn't putting us in danger by allowing Obama's terrorist connections (Odinga, Roy Obama, Quadafi, Farahkan, Rezko, Ayers, Khalifi, Ellijah Mohammad Jr, Chechen Grp terrorist etc) access to our National Security. McCain will defend our country Obama may just give it away.

    July 25, 2008 at 2:25 am |
  5. Aderson

    I’ve always admire Anderson Cooper for his work, but this time very disappointed by his comment about Obama. I think he is influence by David’s comment “Obama made a mistake by acting presidential, we have a president who dose the negotiation for US” . Keep it real Anderson you seem a reasonable person.

    July 25, 2008 at 1:19 am |
  6. fredsanjose

    One of my Turkey friend ask me why American are so polarized. If you are a Clinton supporter, you cannot be a Obama supporter. If you are Republican, you cannot be a Democrate supporter. Most of us are overly saturated with political news du jour. We would probably be more objective if we receive less news about who is picking their nose or scratching their butt, and hear something that is lot more issue oriented.

    July 25, 2008 at 12:58 am |
  7. Michael ...Atlanta, Ga

    History is being made and as Americans we are not ready for CHANGE an African American President and it scares US!!! I applaud Barak Obama on his speech in Berlin very inspiring and promising So I don't think the media is adequate and John McCain is feeling a little inadequate. (get some Viagra Johnny boy)

    July 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm |
  8. Elisa

    Anderson, you and every news anchor left behind have officially joined McCaint and the rest of the Republicans. Please, you're all whining like babies. You're sitting home dissecting Obama's every word and scruntizing his every move. You all need 'time out'. Foreigners love him. Don't fault him for that. He gave an inspiring speech today. Bush and the Republicans are incapable of drawing that kind of attention abroad. We need to rekindle strained relationships around the world and it's obvious he is the man for the job. Face it, McCaint is a crusty war-monger, and, confused as of late. Barack rocks!

    Candy, get over it. Hillary lost. Let's move on.

    EJ, Arizona

    July 24, 2008 at 11:56 pm |
  9. Larry

    I think, (just my opinion) is that we know so little about obama, and that what we do know has been piece-mealed out to we americans that all we know is what his campaign tells us. What is the history of this man as an entire complete person from those who have grown up with him?

    The Kennedys & Reagan we knew about from their long family history, good or bad, they came from political legacies.

    I'm afraid that we'll end up with a fad. Obviously the republicans sure could have did a better job of finding a stalwart representative of their party. But just because McCain is no pretty boy in a suit that can charm the pants off the ladies is not enough reason to at least listen to him, its the american way.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  10. Ana Maria

    nein nein Candy, it's not bein... ich bin, du bist. ich bin ein reporter. sorry i know spelling corrections are annoying... i do love your sense of humour and reports.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  11. Lee

    Anderson Cooper should be more respectful of a potential leader of America taking the responsibility to show his willingness to negotiate and not destroy our world. I feel your attitude and facial expressions showed that you wanted to not respect Senator Obama, but wanted to play childish games of "Why is he acting like a President”, he is acting like an American Senator should act. Foreign Affairs are a major requirement and McCain should attempt to be so noble.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  12. Lynn Shirley

    We complain about Obama drawing 200,000 to hear him speak stating that he is not the President yet, the our President couldn't draw 200 people in Germany to hear him speak. I would like to see John McCain go to Berlin to see how many people come to hear him speak. I'm an unknown school teacher and I probably could draw more people than John McCain. It's time for Change

    July 24, 2008 at 11:13 pm |
  13. Annie Kate


    Your blog posts always bring a smile to my face and usually a good laugh or two. I love your posts and your outlook. You also seem to have the same trouble with math and scientific problems as I do. I think I'm answering your post this week.

    Its too bad Obama doesn't share your sense of humor. Don't hold it against him – not everyone is as enlightened as you are. I loved the Ich bin ein Presidential candidate. That is classic. And you know JFK would have loved it too. He had a great sense of humor.

    Looking forward to your report tonight and I do hope you'll post some more. Your view on the trip is the best I have read yet.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  14. Ryan

    I swear jealousy is one of the strangest emotions next to love...The rhetoric of Barack's speech today is nothing more than a display of pure jealousy and ignorance in the minds of some of our fellow americans. The man is running for president of the United States! Not Mr. Whoever of Any Highschool USA. Was he NOT to address 200,000 people? Anyone to include McCain's camp, and those who constantly, with no merit, nit pick over Obama's every move should atleast have the decency to assert there allegiance to McCain instead of checking to see what Barack's farts smell like! (crickets chirping). Unhappy with Barack's coverage? Find something better! Apparenty we McCain't!

    July 24, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  15. I Adebua, Portush, N Ireland

    Good on you Candy, never been bloggers admirer but you sure make ws sound like watching best comedy.Americans have chance now to choose real President who knows how tired we are with cowboy diplomacy remember that famous "Your with us or with them"? made American look like war mongers driving world citizen away and putting them in greater danger than ever before, you like people have Obama who is willing to accept and put USA back to leadership role. He is smart and well informed guess he has briliant team of researcher and advers.Question why does Mcain speak like angry man? we dont like USA give us another hawk, too much problem in the world already its time you guys choose peaceful President who is willing to make judgement with 21st in mind.

    July 24, 2008 at 7:43 pm |
  16. Larry

    Hi Candy:)

    Glenn Beck was talking about the 200,000 that showed up at the notorious Victory Column to hear Barack speak. Glenn was showing a poster that's going around with the headline 'Ich bein ein Beginner'.

    I find that not much, if any, of Glenn's comments make it to the real CNN.

    Wishing you well on your journey; hopefully that guy who glued himself to British PM Gordon Brown will not be part of any meeting with Sen. Obama.

    July 24, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  17. Lenita

    McCain was the main one pushing the idea that Obama has not been to the Middle East and even suggested they go together! Now, because Obama's trip has been a success, he and other Republican's are finding fault with every word, step, visit, etc. And please stop complaining that Obama is "showboating"!! Just because the U.S. hasn't had someone who looks presidential and acts presidential, is smart, and knows how to behave when visiting other countries in seven years, don't fault Obama for having those qualities! Obama made it clear before he left that there is only one president, and it is not him!

    July 24, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  18. karen-phoenix

    Candy: Love you on CNN. Obama's speech today was inspirrational and that is what we in the US need. We hope that this mess Bush and his crew have created will be over soon. Peace is Patriotic. I'm in my 60's and a born republican. Guess what? NO MORE republican for me. For the first time in 8 years I am feeling a little proud of my country again!! This was history in the making. Obama should be president of the world and maybe we can have a little peace.

    July 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  19. Melinda

    Candy, You're blog is always so much fun to read. You've got a quick wit and you're hilarious and real.

    Go Obama.....at least he makes an effort to get the ball rolling overseas, unlike some people we know.

    July 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  20. Marie

    How dare Obama apologize for our country in of all places Germany.Thank God that McCain is old enough to remember Normandy. The german people are not responsible for Hitlers Germany, just as I am not responsible for slavery, but do not ever apologize for our Great Country. We saved the World with the Blood of our young men

    July 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  21. Affi

    I love the speech that obama made. It was beautiful and well spoken. I applaud him for that. Kudos to Obama the rockstar.

    July 24, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  22. vern-anaheim ,ca

    candy, outstanding job as always,i was stationed in germany in the army when president kennedy said that outstanding remark"ich bin ein berliner" which made us all very proud.i feel that way about sen.obama's speech today in berlin,he made me proud to be a american and brought back memories of JFK.

    July 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  23. mark hoffman, Phoenix AZ.

    Wow. It's the Second Coming. Of JFK that is. If Obama can generate that much enthusiasm in Europe, think about how much he can generate over here, in a country that is being led down the tubes by the neo-cons. Hey McSame, If you come home instead of embarrasing yourself and your party, I promise to diaper and burp you on a daily basis. But leave your druggie wife at home. I don't like her.

    July 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  24. Monika

    I like Barack Obama. I think he is the only hope this country has for digging itself out of the mess the Bush administration got it in.

    I watched his speech from Berlin and I have to say I was completely disappointed by his frequent reference to the air drop in Berlin 60 years ago. What I heard him say and do was putting a guilt trip onto the Germans regarding said air drop to solicit support for the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m sorry, but how stupid does he think the German people are? Comparing the air drop in Berlin in 1948 to the American wars is like comparing apples and bricks.

    The air drop in Berlin was a humanitarian mission to help the German population with food and supplies after the country was decimated by the war in which the U.S. was an all too willing participant. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were started solely by the U.S., with the events of 9/11 as an excuse, against the wishes and support of the global community (maybe with the exception of the Brits who seem to enjoy wars equally as much as the U.S.).

    There is a very good reason why the Germans are opposed to fighting wars. I thought that trying to guilt Germans into supporting the U.S. wars by reminding them of the air drop in 1948 was a blow below the belt line.

    July 24, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  25. Sean

    What's the velocity times distance formula? Is that some new political metric?

    July 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  26. Kanaka Hawaii

    Well, at least you didn't have to cover McCain's visit to the grocery store after your power nap in Berlin. You'd really need a sense of humor for that!

    July 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  27. Davida

    Candy – excellent job, as ever.

    I am British (Scottish mother, Welsh father born in England), I've lived in Saudi Arabia for nearly 20 years and I have a (republican) American husband.

    I've been glued to the US Primaries and have to ensure that I'm awake at 5.00 am to watch AC360 (though we only get an hour – I complain repeatedly).

    For months I've been saying, to anyone who will listen, that the US needs Obama as the next President. The US, above all else, needs a diplomat – there is none better than Obama. I can now say this with impunity; Obama's audience and speech in Berlin were phenomenal – you guys need him. If Obama isn't elected President, the US deserves all that it gets. What he lacks can be made up for with experts.

    Also, I believe that he can happily have Hilary as his VP. It was previously seen to be a weakness – not now.

    Thanks, Candy; I truly appreciate your comment & reporting. I am always grateful to receive yours and Peter Bergen's opinions and comments.

    July 24, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  28. Sam

    I suggested he say, ”Ich bin ein presidential candidate,” and that is the moment I learned we do not have the same sense of humor.

    He didn't even crack a smile? Wow, even Dubya has a great sense of humor!

    July 24, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  29. Sandra Pinto

    I desperately need to add to my comment. When Senator Obama speaks in his capacity as a private citizen you criticize the fact that he did not broach certain tough political subjects when he does you accuse him of posturing as a president. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM HIM?? youare os obviously biased please stop sending in reports on him we only watch Cnn and consequently, you because of Senator Obama don't forget that fact. You are there because he is making the news.

    July 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  30. Wendy Ontario, Canada

    I also watched the speech & truly hope Obama is your next President. He gives inspiration to so many people & may be the candidate to finally bring peace to the world. He is the candidate of the future & would do America proud.

    July 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  31. Michelle

    Candy I just finished watching the Obama speech on CNN.
    All I can say is wow. Americans should really be proud.

    July 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  32. deborah, OH

    As usual, you reported with real insight & humor. I love it!
    I didn't know you are really a Clinton supporter!-lol.
    I would like to know the true reason the press was not allowed to follow in Iraq, especially. Very, very interesting.

    Hope you can get some shut-eye. And keep up the GOOD WORK!

    July 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  33. Kelli, San Francisco, CA

    Candy, I'm watching Obama's speech live right now via CNN.com and have one big question. WHO is Obama's intended audience here, because that crowd of maybe 10,000 people in Berlin – are Germans and probably have no idea what he is saying because he is speaking English! As a German-American, I would say that many German's speak some English but not all of them, and not enough to be able to understand what his speech is about. So, the audience is for the TV News audience so we can see how cool Obama is when we watch the 5:30 news tonight?

    July 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  34. Debbie

    Your reports are great! Not only are they entertaining, I just learned what "wonky" means! I have to get out more!
    Debbie, NY

    July 24, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  35. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Don't they serve Kool-Aid on the Obama plane? I heard that to rev up the crowd in Berlin, they plan on blaring David Hasselhoff singing "Hooked on a Feeling" before Obama does his speech. The Hoff and Obama both rock!

    July 24, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  36. Sandra Pinto

    Candy Crowley you are so obviously an embittered Clinton supporter why are you covering the Obama trip to Europe.? It is unfortunate when news journalists lose their objectivity. You report on favourable happenings and succeed to put a negative spin onto everything to do with Senator Obama. When are you going to smell the coffee. Europeans are more in tune with what is happening in the world. They a re less secular and see the bigger picture. You are out of touch with reality and all your pessismism that is so tangible is futile and will not change the course of history. Open your eyes to a new awakening and embrace it.

    July 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  37. Sheila MacArthur

    There has been a lot of complaining that the media is giving Obama's trip too much coverage. This seems like artifical news, commenting on the commentary. So in response I would like to tell CNN that I am tuning in more often than normal because I am interested in this story. I want to know how the world responds to Obama, with whom he is meeting, how he handles himself - plus, I'm a mom and can't help but be worried about him! CNN, please do not reduce your coverage of Senator Obama's trip. Thanks.

    July 24, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  38. Ariston, FL


    I would have paid to see Obamas' face when you suggested he say, ”Ich bin ein presidential candidate." That was priceless.

    I enjoy your reports.

    Key West, FL

    July 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm |
  39. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Russia and China are the hidden camapaign issues. Does Obama have no thoughts and McCain have crazy thoughts?
    Simple question to Obama> 'Do you agree with McCain's plan to boot Russia from the G8 and bar China?'
    What about the recent move by Russia to patrol Arctic waters, first time since the Cold War?
    Yes, Iran Iraq Afghanistan Pakistan Israel Palestine are important and noisy issues. Classify Russia and China as 'silent but deadly' over the next decade.
    McCain has 'stated' his philosphy in dealing with these World Powers. It is only a matter of balanced journalism to reveal Obama's stances!

    July 24, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  40. Cindy

    LOVE hearing from you! You always keep it real and fun!!

    I for one haven't heard anything new from Obama since he has been on his photo op trek across the Middle East. His fact finding mission just seems to be nothing but a political ploy.

    And what's up with them thinking that journalists being with him in Iraq and Afghanistan would look too political? UMM...it all looks that way to me! Everything he has said or done! That was a dumb reason to keep you all away from him. You sure that was the real reason!? HMMM...

    Get some rest girl and keep us updated on your great journey with the chosen one! LOL


    July 24, 2008 at 12:28 pm |
  41. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Obama went to the West Bank. McCain didn't. Start a clock on when McCain will visit the West Bank.
    How can he voice an opinion on a place he has never even been?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:15 pm |