July 24th, 2008
09:16 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama prepares to deliver much-anticipated speech in Berlin

Obama will speak in Germany Thursday.
Obama will speak in Germany Thursday.

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) – Without offering up too many hints, Senator Barack Obama told reporters that his much-anticipated public address here later today will not be "a wonkish policy speech."

Obama sought to "tamp down" expectations of crowd size and did concede he was seeking out a larger audience beyond the one that will gather in Tiergarten Park.

Watch: Christiane Amanpour previews Obama

"No doubt that part of what I want to communicate on both sides of the Atlantic is the enormous potential of us restoring a sense of coming together," he said. "The people in the crowd aren't voters so in that sense it's not designed to get them to the polls, it's not a political rally. Hopefully it will be viewed as a substantive articulation of the relationship I'd like to see between the United States and Europe."

Related: Obama to reach out to Europe in key speech

Obama said speech writing started about two weeks ago and demurred when asked if he had looked to the Berlin speeches given by Presidents Kennedy and Reagan for inspiration. "They were presidents, I am a citizen," he said.

The Democratic presidential candidate chatted with reporters aboard his campaign plane shortly before takeoff for Berlin, the first European stop of Obama's overseas tour.

In Jordan and Israel, the media attention and public interest in Obama's visit was intense and Europe will likely be no different.

"I think the world is keenly interested in this election and I think they're hungry for a sense of where America is going, certainly there's a curiosity factor involved,” Obama responded when asked if he was surprised at the attention he has received.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Never Barak Obama

    Polls show hispanic turnaround to Obama, please stop helping Obama with the polls. (hispanics do not support Obama)

    July 24, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. 58-year-old white woman

    I welcome the opportunity for an intelligent, thinking president who can raise America's reputation in the world. His verbal talents are not just empty qualities; he has gotten many citizens interested in and excited about politics again. The best part is that he is a man of honor and integrity and I trust him. He clearly loves his family and respects the feelings of others without being a doormat.

    July 24, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Didine - Maryland

    Barack Obama is so presidential, he looks really good in this picture. The whole world is waiting for his speech in Germany. Obama is a gift from God and we all should be very proud of him. He represents hope and change.
    Go Barack!

    Obama '08

    July 24, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. ProudToBeDemocrat

    Barack means one who is blessed by God. No matter what the Republicans our next president is President Obama no one can change God's will. God bless America and our next presidnet.

    July 24, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Michael

    Yep, that's the ticket. Wow the Germans. When did it become conventional wisdom that the United States had to be loved by Old Europe? What has Germany or France done to help us recently? i seem to remember helping France–twice–and smashing the obscenity that was Germany in 1919 and 1945.

    July 24, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Dave

    After watching Obama for the last several years, I have decided that he is just like a Twinkie. A lot of people like him, but he has nothing to offer but fluff and empty calories.

    July 24, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. It Be Me

    is it November yet???

    all this hate and discontent is getting old in a hurry.....

    everybody has their reasons for voting for their canidate.....and coming on here and spewing hate against the other isn't getting us anywhere....do you really think you're gonna change anyones mind???

    Lets just vote already, and get it over with.

    July 24, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. James Hussein, SC

    Ja, wir koennen!

    McJealous asked for this and he got it.

    Now, McSurge can NOT stop his crying.

    July 24, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. Mauri

    Everyone please listen to every word Obama says in his speech from Germany. Perhaps we'll again hear him "misspeak" about another governmental committee he's a member of. Yesterday it was the banking committee - today, who knows what it will be. His next book will undoubtedly be named "What I Really Meant to Say."

    July 24, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Kevin

    Obama has been treated like dirt by half the nation. I'm sick of hearing about unfair media coverage. Does McCain receive death threats and racial slurs like those that Obama receives? Does Mccain get hoax e-mails sent around about him?

    July 24, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Joe Reg

    Obama's presidency will retore America image in the world.

    July 24, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Pat F

    Obama is giving a substantive speech? Not just meaningless platitudes, and warm and fuzzy statements devoid of content? Wow, that is REALLY news!

    July 24, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Chris from Baltimore

    BlackMan4Mac July 24th, 2008 5:49 am ET writes:

    Why do we care what europe thinks, this is not their vote. This our country and if they want him so bad, why can't they put him in as their president? I bet they would never vote him in to their office. They just want to see America go down with him, that is why they want him to help give our country to them.
    .....................................

    Great point, BlackMan4Mac!

    Why on earth should Americans care what our largest trading partners, who join with us in International Security under the banner of NATO, think?

    Their opinions, after all, have absolutely NOTHING to do with our economic prosperity and national security.

    The REAL issues that matter to the general welfare of our citizens, the issues that actually touch our everyday lives, as championed by Senator McCain and his Republican Party, revolve around whether or not Senator Obama wears a flag pin or not, what his wife may have meant in a speach she gave, and the political views of his former Pastor.

    Why can't the American public see, as you and I do, what's REALLY important in their lives? Why won't they recognize the "leadership" John McCain has shown for the last 25 years of cashing taxpayer-funded checks as a Senator? Why do they consider Senator McCain as just another "dead wood, do-nothing" politician when he's personally accomplished so much that has affected our everyday lives?

    I guess it must be the biased, liberal media that's responsible for that.

    I'm sure you agree.

    July 24, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Olive Oil (a-guhg-guhg-gugh)

    Obama, will you please put JFK's corpse back into his grave and actually campaign on your own merits and ideas? Oh, that's right... you don't have any. Lest I forget, hope and change, hope and change, hope and change...

    July 24, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. K

    Obama's arrogance and narcissism makes Bush look normal. Pathetic.

    July 24, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Adam

    Yes, Irma in NC, anyone who doesn't vote for Obama is racist. It has nothing to do with him planning to double the capital gains tax or create an oil windfall profit tax that will do nothing but drive up gas prices more, or how no one knows where he stands on NAFTA, or his flip-flop on FISA.

    It has to be that we're all racists.

    July 24, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. MR-TN

    I THINK IT IS SAD THAT SO MANY AMERICAN WHITE PEOPLE ARE SO INSECURE WITH THE NOTION THAT A BLACK MAN MIGHT POSSIBLY BE MORE EDUCATED, MORE ARTICULATE AND HAVE A BETTER SENSE OF WORLD ISSUES THAN A WHITE MAN WHO WAS A POW.

    HERE'S A CLUE...THERE ARE SOME VERY EDUCATED, POWERFUL BLACK PEOPLE WHO RUN CORPORATIONS, RAISE HAPPY AND RESPONSIBLY FAMILIES, AND CAN ARTICULATE THOUGHT OUTSIDE OF THE BELOW 80 IQ GROUP.

    THIS IS A TIME IN OUR HISTORY THAT YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF. THE COUNTRY HAS COME A LONG WAY. IGNORANCE AND LOW-INFORMATION VOTERS HAVE HAD THEIR 7 PLUS YEARS OF THEIR CHOICE, WITH BUSH.

    MAYBE IT IS TIME TO ALLOW MORE INTELLIGENT PEOPLE TO HELP SHAKE THE FUTURE IN THIS COUNTRY.

    TAKE ON CHANCE ON INTELLIGENCE...IT MAY MAKE YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER PERSON.

    July 24, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. James Hussein, SC

    A lot of olks are complaining about Senator Obama's travel overseas. Well, Senator McCain conducted his travels and ALL of you thought it was great. Now, it is Senator Obama's trip so shut up and listen for once in you life. You just might see why Senator McCain is long past his time and benefit to America.

    July 24, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. ANGIE

    Great to see germany and europe favor obama bush has disgraced america, With all of europe favoring obama that should show the american people the world is ready for change!!!!!!!!!!!!! obama08

    July 24, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Charlotte

    I've no doubt his speech will be great. He can give a speech as well as anyone I've ever heard. When it requires his own thoughts he stammmers and umms me to the point of me wanting to finish his thoughts,while waiting for the words to come out. Write Hillary on your ballot in November..

    July 24, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. webster208

    Obama's solution for everything is to give a speech. And the media buys into it by lavishing praise, and convincing everyone that stringing motherhood statements together into a 20 minute speech is the best solution to America's problems. What a farce!

    July 24, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. John

    All caps makes you morans (sic) look really super-smart.

    July 24, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. tedious898

    Again.....McCain supporters, Reps, PUMA's ! Please inform us what John McCain is proposing to insure the prosperity of this great country

    I know...I know... Barack sucks, only has a speech, promises everything delivers nothing, they may like him in other parts of the word but who cares (?), – we true americans don't care if nobody likes us and thinks we're idiots. We have big military and we can kill everybody.

    Speak up please and tell us about John McCain.

    Ok cue the crickets

    July 24, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Dan from Kitchener

    Well the plain truth is John McCain showed he has nothing but contempt for the American people and thinks they so naive and ignorant they can't detect him lying through his teeth and are so gullible they'll believe anything he says.

    Proof of the above statement lies in his less than brilliant attempt at covering up his lack of knowledge about the so called surge and when it started. The only people who could possibly support someone who will lie when the truth will fit better and appears totally confused on a daily basis would have to be on the intellectual level as McCain himself.

    July 24, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Moderate Democrat

    There is NOTHING similiar between John F Kennedy and Obama.

    Kennedy had been a World War 2 War hero, a Congressman and a Senator for 15 years before becoming President. Obama has not even been a senator for 3.5 years yet. He has less experience than anyone to ever run for President.

    The media who continues to swoon over Obama is looking so incredibly biased. It is amazing that the NYT would not publish an editorial by a Presidential Candidate because the do not support them. What is going on in this country? Sounds scary to me when we have censorship in the media to me. Is this still the home of the free?

    July 24, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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