Obama Speech Plays Well With Euro Pundits

Most praise it, with reservations
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2008 12:28 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., waves after speaking at the Victory Column in Berlin, Thursday, July 24, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s speech in Germany is drawing the full complement of responses in Europe, from glowing to scowling. Here are a few:

  • He’s “an idealist in the true spirit of the American success story,” writes Gerhard Spohl in Der Spiegel, and aspires to be "something akin to the president of the world.” While bidding good riddance to the arrogance of Bush, Spohl cautions Germans about being swept away. "Let's allow ourselves to be warmed today," he says. "Then we'll take a further look.

  • Barack gave Berlin “the full range” of his charisma, says Gregor Peter Schmitz, also in Der Spiegel. But Schmitz isn’t sure about “crafty election campaigner” Obama, who demanded more EU participation in Iraq, Afghanistan and counter-terrorism—and offered no details. “Nevertheless, it could be that the trans-Atlantic relationship right now needs a new tenor" more than specifics.
  • While it wasn’t perfect, the Economist’s editors say, the speech was both “staunch in defense” of US interests and adamant that the “American Mars would no longer trample the sensitivities of the European Venus.” It’s notable that his view of the world “is no sunnier” than George Bush’s—it’s just more hopeful about solutions.
(Read more Barack Obama stories.)