[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."]
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.
Gute Nacht, although it may be Guten Morgen.
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