Obama wanted to pull a Kennedy. The German Chancellor saw red.
Obama wanted the address in Berlin to happen at the Brandenburg Gate, which lay behind the Berlin Wall for three decades and where Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton have made memorable speeched.
What our Senator forgot that they were all Presidents, and not Presidential candidates.
And what has ensued in Germany is the division of the ruling coalition, with conservative Chancellor Merkel disapproving the use of the historic monument as backdrop for the campaign trail, while Social Democratic Frank- Walter Steinmeier, who is the Vice- Chancellor and the Foreign minister all for the Obama visit.
Adding to this heady cocktail is Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who senses Barack Obama is prime- time material. The address would bring thousands from across the country and neighboring countries to Berlin, and well, a possible photo- op for himself.
Well, Who does not want a piece of Obama?
Read the New York Times take on it.
Addition on Thursday, July 17- Why Merkel sees red, and what Germany really thinks of it all, read the Op- Ed in The New York Times this week by Christopher Peters here.