POLL: No bounce for Obama from overseas trip. I don’t think he cares — I think he figures he’s got the election won already, and that this trip is about laying the foundation for his administration’s foreign policy.
UPDATE: That’s the thinking in Germany, too:
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit â€” who was apparently open to Obama speaking anywhere he wanted in this most international of cities, including the Brandenberg Gate venue which Chancellor Angela Merkel, perhaps prodded by the White House, balked at â€” had this gushing comment following his meeting with Obama. â€œHe is a very charming and determined man, who has a vision for America and the whole world.â€
The whole world? Hmm â€¦
He’s not running for President of the United States. He’s running for President of Earth.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Word for the day: “presumptuous.” It’s the new “gravitas”!
This, of course, is Europe’s favorite dream: a post-Bush America cut down to size and chastened, a meeker and more modest America, a more “European” (that is, a more social-democratic) America, which at last casts off some of its nastier capitalist habits. An America that is a lot more like us Europeans who have forgone power politics and sovereignty in favor of communitarian politics and integration.
This is the canvas Europeans have been painting with wildly enthusiastic brush strokes. If Obama wins, the reality will be different. Sure, President Obama would speak more softly than did Mr. Bush in his first term, but he would still be carrying the biggest stick on earth. He will preside over an America that is still No. 1 and not part of a multipolar chorus populated by Russia, China, India, and the E.U.
Germans should have read the foreign-policy chapter in Obama’s The Audacity of Hope. There are passages in there which read like pure Bush–on unilateralist action, on the right of pre-emption, on playing the world’s “sheriff.” Obama’s upshot: “This will not change–nor should it.”
Couldn’t have said that better myself.
Some related thoughts here.
MORE STILL: Rasmussen: 63% Say Trip Does Not Make Obama More Fit to be President.
Or even Mr. Cloudo, President of Heaven.
And Professor Bainbridge asks: “Is it just me or is anybody else starting to get a little creeped out by the whole Barack Obama phenomenon? . . . Personally, I find this fervor spooky and creepy. ” Well, maybe. It reminds me of the Bay City Rollers.