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Obama in Berlin

BY TAYLOR MARSH


This is the flier that had Patrick Ruffina pitching a fit. Obama has a bilingual page on his blog! Hide the children. But this analysis, for lack of a better word (via Yglesias), is frightening, though Jonah Goldberg would be proud.

Russ Douthat is practically apoplectic.


I’d really like to know which genius on the Obama campaign thought it would be a good idea to have their candidate conduct a major campaign rally in Europe with three months to go till the election and their candidate, despite an incredibly favorable climate and a fumbling opponent, still clinging to a 2-4 point lead in the polls? Overall, the overseas tour has been good to Obama, both for the obvious reasons and because making joint appearances with foreign leaders is a solid-enough way to build up his credibility as a potential Commander-in-Chief. But photo ops are one thing, Beatlemania-style rallies are quite another – and having your candidate appear in front of tens of thousands of adoring European fans when your campaign’s biggest problem, as John Judis puts it today, is that “Obama remains the ‘mysterious stranger’ rather than the ‘American Adam’ to too many voters who are put off rather than attracted by his race and exotic background” strikes me as the height of political folly.

For obvious reasons, I feel like an onlooker on this one. Having backed Hillary to the end, I remain in her corner still. There is no way I could have moved so swiftly over to Obama without Hillary’s strong nod in Unity, New Hampshire. Even then it was a bitch doing it, still is. But as a Democrat who votes on national security issues, I’ll do all I can to beat John McCain. So the hand wringing over Obama’s Berlin trip I don’t quite get. The truth is he and his team obviously want to illustrate that Senator Obama’s a foreign policy player on the world stage. That he can command a favorable audience around the world, like presidents of old used to. Like William Jefferson Clinton did, someone who is still beloved across the globe. But it’s the J.F.K. memory Obama is reaching into the past to conjure up with this Berlin event. Everyone knows it. That’s what they planned. That same mythical magic (though no one can replicate the J.F.K. aura, no one). I have no idea if he can do something similar. But why shouldn’t he try?

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