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What I found disappointing was that he received such a response when his speech in Berlin was totally substance free, as are many of his speeches.

However, you are quite wrong about how Germans see the US. Actually, the Germans love the Simpsons - look up the syndication numbers and box-office for the Simpsons Movie in Germany. Not only that, but in general Germans love a great deal of US popular culture. Germans are also very friendly to Americans, as are most Europeans and seem to know a great deal more about what is happening in American culture and politics than many Americans do. That being said, in general, they strongly disagree with US foreign policy, and want the US to get out of Iraq, as the majority of Americans do as well. Your post is just unfounded bashing of Europeans.

As to how Americans will look at this it comes down to the image of him addressing large foreign crowds and meeting with foreign leaders and people being able to begin seeing him as a "Presidential figure." This entire trip has done a great deal in solidifying that image. I don't think there was anything of substance in the trip, I am just talking about the perception.


Who paid for the free beer?

And, Todd, perception is reality which is what McCain doesn't understand.

You are right - I have travelled to Germany - it is a very attuned to American culture. They are very turned off by American foreign policy.

I did find it interesting to note that the audience was decidedly under 35 - or at least appeared so on the clips I saw. The clip of McCain at the German cafe in Ohio made him look very old - kinda like an old retired guy going out for morning coffee with his other retired buddies (which is a common scenario in small town America).

It will be interesting to see what the polls look like on Sunday.

Greg, it's just you.
This week alone:
Obama: 200,000 people cheering for the America full of optimism and hope that Bush, Cheney and cronies have lost, or is that stolen.
McCain: A woman and 2 kids with a grocery cart.
Or McCain standing in front of the cheese aisle.
Or McCain bouncing up and down in the back his bus.
Or McCain having a cup of coffee in a diner with his 'lodge' buddies.
Or McCain repeatedly confusing countries, strategies and more.
I actually am starting to feel sorry for the guy, he looks so bad next to anyone, let alone Obama. His service to our country means he is deserving of better treatment from his handlers than he is getting, but it sure doesn't mean he should be president.

One word donks....REZKO

When was the last time you were in Germany, Greg?

I never had to hide my nationality while I was there, and I hung out with these same people you're suggesting hate the country (as Todd said, they LOVE The Simpsons - Mayor Quimby speaks with a Bavarian accent there!). I even got an apology for WWII.

If anything, they see America as their friend who got really drunk and did some stupid things, but they still love him and are always there.

"Maybe it's just me..."

Probably.

Two words, jamcool:

Charles Keating.

I know this sounds odd, but I don't know if I like having a candidate that the French love. I especially don't know if I like having a candidate the Middle East loves.

Obama fever over there indicates to me that they think he'll give them what they want; not what I need.

This one sided press coverage is scary.

WSJ poll has Obama ahead....

From reading the thread of comments, including mine, who McCain picks for VP is becoming more critical everyday - better be a high energy person who can relate to people under 50.

Jim,
In the coverage I have read, especially from foreign press sources, most of the people they interview don't expect him to make a big change in foreign policy aims, but do expect changes in means. So, they really don't seem to think he is going to give them anything.

wow man. You know American Conservatives didn't used to be so European-phobic. Its just the French that are assholes and not all of them. That is some intense psyco-drama playing out in that post. Do you really think the world hates us? They hate George Bush, not America.

Frank, it really seems to have hit fevered pitch during the run-up to the Iraq invasion when you had millions of Europeans protesting the then impending attack and even European governments being critical. At the time it was easy for those supporting the invasion to discount this as simply "Anti-Americanism" when now in hindsight i believe it is clear the better label would have been "correct." Perhaps in some way that makes it even worse.

Frank, you wrote, "They hate George Bush, not America."

This is the sentiment I heard in Germany two years ago and in Greece last year. Friends who have visited Europe in the last two years share the same experience.

I think these are the images a lot of older *swing voters* have been waiting for: An American appearing capable of restoring global respect for the office of the President.

When you have the kind of reputation our executive office has right now, it rises to the top of the issues. That's a sad statement, because it used to be the office itself was enough to lend supreme credibility to whomever held it. Now that's reversed. Makes me want to cry.

Have you actually been to Europe, or do you just learn about the Europeans from right-wing talk show hosts? My girlfriend and I went to Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria) a couple of years ago and were treated warmly just about everywhere we went (some of the counter workers were kind of snippy, but that's not too different from here). Besides citizens of the aforementioned countries, we met people from Croatia, France, Britain, and the Netherlands, had friendly conversations with all of them, and made some new friends. Most of them were excited to talk to Americans, learn about what it's like to live in the U.S., hear our accents, etc. And it's not as if we're a couple of tree-hugging, minimum wage increasing, corporation-hating Socialists either. We're just a couple of conservative looking, libertarian leaning folks who probably agree with them on some political issues and disagree on others.

Forget Europe and Europeans. Forget the fake fact-finding. This is about the gall of an American senator going to (name any country other than America) and campaigning for President of the United States! He hogged every podium, every microphone and every meeting for himself. He pretended to care about the troops and about anyone other than himself. The one thing the narcissistic left has done right is to pick the King Narcisist to be their candidate.

Personally, I enjoy the swelled head Barry's getting from all the media attention and fawning. When he crashes and burns and we all realize what an empty suit he is, it will be all the more hilarious.

"hogged every podium", "empty suit". Methinks I hear a junior high era "neener, neener neener, so there!" component to your protests, right up there with McCain's truly juvenile video about "Love" and Obama. At least Pappy Bush was honest when he said he was a little jealous of all the attention Obama's getting.

Travis,
Were you bothered when McCain went to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, France and Britain in the Spring on a "fact-finding tour". Where you bothered when he held a fund-raising dinner in London, hosted by a British Lord?

I guess the outrage machine is in full-gear.

I find it interesting that the press is fawning over Obama's ability to draw big crowds but also just as interesting is their failure to report that before his big speech in Berlin, two popular German acts gave a free concert. Reggae Artist Patrice and Rock band Reamonn gave a couple hour free concert and shortly after Obama took the stage. this also happened in Oragon when a popular Portland based band "The Decemberist" played a free concert for a crowd of 75,000 and Obama spoke shortly after. To me this brings up the question, were they there for the free concert or to hear Obama speak? Maybe that would be better answered by the recent polls that said Obama didn't get any bump from his recent overseas trip.

Actually, Ephram, Obama got a nice bump - he's at 49 points to McCain's 40 as of yesterday. Earlier in the week, it was 45-43.

What about Colombia, Travis? I'm sure you were bothered when McCain went to Colombia last month.

The followers of the King of Change love to change the subject. Congratulations on naming other travel by McCain. Try to stay focused on the real problem: All senators travel, not all of them come with a circus of campaigning fans and publicists and media hype and insist that everything must orbit around Obama.

It's not the travel, it's the narcissism. There's no comparison, there's no excuse for the non-sense. I'm not complaining-I'm criticizing. You can defend, deflect and dismiss all you want, it is what it is.

There have been times when an elected official has gone somewhere and brought attention to a serious problem around the world to try and bring a resolution. But this was attention for attenion's sake - and all for Obama.

Really, Travis? It's about "narcissism"?

"This is about the gall of an American senator going to (name any country other than America) and campaigning for President of the United States!"

All I ask for is consistency, really. If you wanted to make a hue and cry about narcissism or elitism or whatever -ism is the right's ooga-booga this week, fine.

But do try to frame your arguments in such a way that doesn't instantly smack of hypocrisy, easily brought down by a simple Google search.

New survey shows that national networks are tougher on Obama than McCain. Check it out.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-onthemedia27-2008jul27,0,2066363,full.story

The "narcissism" you refer to is excitement over someone who is clearly extremely intelligent (not Bush, not McCain), thoughtful and well-spoken (not Bush, not McCain) and has a broad depth of understanding of the economy and domestic and global issues (not Bush, not McCain). He's not snarling around talking about "winning", which is completely undefinable! This is not the kind of conflict where Gen. MacArthur accepts a sword on a battleship, but that's all 71-year-old McCain can visualize - black and white, we win, they lose (and I won't even get into the fact we invaded their country on a web of lies in the first place, an argument for an entirely different forum). Obama also offers a message of stability and hope, not MORE OF MCSHAME. If McCain were doing or saying anything worthy of media attention, he'd be covered - but "Mac and cheese" and bouncy bus rides and clumsy inaccurate oratory and reptilian out of place smiles just give people either the laughs (which is sad, the guy is a war hero, no question) or the creeps.

Actually, the Europeans (as most of the world) LOVES the Simpsons...

"I think there are a lot of Democrats who work in brake shops and diners in Ohio and Michigan who look at this picture and get really ticked off"

Are you actually saying this with a straight face? These Democrats (and people in general) working in Ohio and Michigan are worried about much more important things than Obama going to Germany--like keeping their job and keeping their home. It's utterly inconsequential come November. Most people probably won't even remember by then that he even went globetrotting.

Republicans need to start focusing on real issues.....

"McShame." I love the originality of Obambots.

Why Sam, thank you. Personally, my fave has been "Mac and cheese" :)

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