Shame on Obama for Skipping Berlin Festivities

By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2009 7:41 PM CDT
The art installation "Vanished Berlin Wall" by Korean artist EunSook Lee is displayed in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Oct. 31, 2007 in Berlin, Germany.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Skipping the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall is a bad choice by President Obama, Rick Richman writes, for several reasons:

  • It’s a snub of a personal invitation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel—a key ally and one going all out for the festivities.
  • It’s a chance for Obama to give credit to Presidents Kennedy and Reagan for their role in winning the Cold War—credit he forgot during a campaign speech in Berlin.

  • It’s “an embarrassment” for the US president not to be at such a momentous gathering, Richman adds in Commentary, cautioning that if Obama doesn’t change his mind on the Nov. 9 party, “history will notice his absence, and the electorate may as well.”
  • Finally, “it is an opportunity for Obama to give a speech in which he does not apologize for his country but celebrates the triumph of freedom that has been the driving force of American history from its beginning through his own election.”