Barack Obama coming to Europe
In this Salon.com article about Obama’s planned trip to Europe, I enjoyed the suggestion that the German Chancellor will have to be careful how enthusiastically she receives him.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Obama will definitely meet, is well aware of Obama’s broad appeal. But she can’t afford to give him an overexuberant reception because that could alienate President George W. Bush, who just visited her a few weeks ago during his European farewell trip and whose father, former President George H.W. Bush, is due to attend the July 4 opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Berlin.
Like any good politician, she’ll also have to consider the possibility of Obama’s losing and having to deal with McCain in the future.
An interesting gamble is mentioned in this video. McCain supporters are naturally portraying Obama as inexperienced in foreign policy. As a result Obama needs to do something to address that, but since he’s leading in the polls, it’s a risky trip. If anything goes wrong, he could lose so much more than he would have gained. I see his decision to visit Europe as yet another example of his integrity and fearlessness. I like the guy, as I said here.
Although Italy is not on the planned itinerary, there would be an even more delicate situation here. After Berlusconi’s sycophantic toadying to Bush and company, how could he possibly deal with the chances of Obama taking over. Somehow, I don’t think it’ll be too daunting a dilemma for the Italian Prime Minister, slick politico that he is.