July 24th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
6 years ago

On the Scene: 'Obamafest' hits Berlin

Onlookers gather for Obama's Thursday speech in Berlin, Germany.
Onlookers gather for Obama's Thursday speech in Berlin, Germany.

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) – Crowds have grown and thinned throughout the day outside of the swank Adlon Hotel where Barack Obama and his entourage are preparing for the Democratic presidential candidate’s visit here.

Police have closed off part of the street in front of the hotel which sits in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate as throngs lean on metal barriers, cameras in hand, hoping to get a glimpse of the man himself.

Watch: Crowds wait for Obama to speak in Berlin

Just a short walk up the road is the Victory Column where Obama will deliver his remarks, a speech he says will be a “substantive articulation of the relationship” he would like to see between the United States and Europe.

Although Obama and his aides have strongly denied politics plays a role in today’s event, a leisurely stroll towards the event site left a different impression.

Obama volunteers have set up shop on street corners, and are registering Democrats who live abroad to vote. “Anyone an American citizen?” bellowed one woman holding a homemade “register to vote” sign. “If you’re a Democrat abroad you must register to vote,” yelled her male counterpart. Takers were quickly ushered to a folding table manned by several eager Obama supporters, where they were provided paperwork to fill out.

A few were looking to cash in on the Obama frenzy. For 5 Euros one could pick up two unofficial Obama buttons. An Obama ’08 button with pictures of both John Kennedy and Barack Obama appeared to be doing well, but the prize went to the button that had Obama’s head atop the body of a beer garden waiter holding seven huge glasses of German brew. The button’s slogan? OBAMAFEST! Of course.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. David Goldman for OBAMA

    THIS IS FOR THE FELLOW THAT MADE

    ACCUSATIONS AT THE WESTERN WALL.

    WE ALL HAVE OUR MORONS, &

    AS A JEW, I GUESS YOU ARE MINE.

    WE SHOULD ALWAYS, ALWAYS, REMEMBER WHO WE ARE.

    July 24, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. JC

    This has the potential to be absolutely disastrous for Obama back in the United States. The photos and video will be great, but I think his campaign will see an unexpected backlash from this. Obama is going to give an American foreign policy speech in Berlin, Germany to a couple hundred thousand cheering Germans? It may or may not have this result, but I can see the potential for many Americans to be insulted by that – it gives the impression that he is campaigning in Europe to Germans. This has to potential to be the first bad move by the Obama campaign.

    July 24, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. ShirleyY - Seattle

    JESUS IS THE MESSIAH, HE DIED ON THE CROSS AND ROSE FROM THE GRAVE AND BY HIM YOU CAN BE SAVED. AGREE STOP WITH THE BLASPHEMY, IT'S DANGEROUS TO USE GOD NAME IN VAIN. THE BIBLE TELLS US THEIR IS NO FORGIVENESS USING GOD NAME IN VAIN.

    OBAMA IS LOVED BECAUSE OF HIS PRESENCE, HE IS KIND AND WANTS THE BEST FOR ALL RACE AND GENDER.

    July 24, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Adam

    I hate all this talk of experience.
    None of the candidates has ANY experience being the president for the simple fact that non of them have ever been the president. Experience is something you gain by DOING something and since none of them has ever done it... they don't have any experience. Period. McCain has no more experience than Obama or HIllary, or Mitt. Hillary has seen it a lot closer up and has a much greater knowledge, but actually being the one to make the decisions, to be in secret meetings... she hasn't done that either. Obama has just as good a chance as any other candidate.

    And what he has on his side that NO other candidate is this worldwide support. That is something this country hasn't had in almost a decade. He also has hope, and in case you want to bash all the hope talk, you should pick up a history textbook and give it a quick perusal. You'll notice that throughout history, the ones who have changed the course of nations are the ones who had hope. Ghandi, Dr. King, etc... hope was their mantra. Hope for a better tomorrow. There is not a single choice that any person can make that is not based on hope. Hope that this shirt makes you look better than the other. Hope that purchasing this car will save you money in the long run.

    Obama may have some policies that we don't all agree with, but no candidate ever will agree with everyone. What Obama does have is this amazing gift to unify people and get people excited and that can be more important than anything else sometimes.

    I for one am glad to see all the excitement abroad for this Jr. Senator. There is a reason they are putting his face with Kennedy's on buttons.

    July 24, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    I WOULD SWITCH PROFESSIONS TO BE

    A REPORTER WITH THE OBAMA TEAM.

    A WONDERFUL CHANGE IS COMING !!!!!

    July 24, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Bobby

    "OBAMA is no ordinary rock star. He is the kind of icon that were Kennedy, Martin Luther King and as is Mandela. He delivers substance with imagination and integrity. Beck insults millions of citizens of the world and of the USA and by claiming that they are just falling for just sizzle"

    Are you kidding me? There is a sucker born every day........Obama is a sheep in a wolf's clothing. There is no substance. He is a salesman. Obama or McCain...what a choice!

    July 24, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Nando, Florida

    SAY NO TO MCCAIN THE NEXT VILLAGE IDIOT TRYING BECOME POTUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Chris from Baltimore

    KENNETH M. July 24th, 2008 12:40 pm ET writes:

    I AM AN OBAMA SUPPORTER BUT CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY WE CARE IF EUROPE AND GERMANY LIKES US? JUST ASKING.
    ..........................................

    Just a guess, but maybe it's because the EU is our largest trading partner and our allies in NATO, making their opinion of our country a significant part of our citizens' economic prosperity and national security.

    Of course, I'm just "spitballing" here, but that does seem like it might be kinda important.

    July 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Brian

    If we are living in a global economy why does it who is president. Corporations run the world not presidents. Guess what corporate taxes are about equal to the defense budget.

    July 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Dave, Illinois

    Yeah, the Germans have a great track record for idolizing charasmatic leaders who are great orators.

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Anna, SW Missouri

    Why is CNN not reporting that the US State Department is telling their foreign service employees that the should not attend Obama's speech in Germany. They are US citizens, and even as the Hatch Act prohibits their employees from actively participating in politics, attending speeches by candidates, as long as they are not working to get that candidate elected has never been denied before. What is next, the White House telling people who they can vote for if they want to keep their jobs?

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    Wish I could have been there!!! Go Obama!

    July 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Phil

    All Hail Obama...the media's newly elected President.

    July 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. JJ

    It's refreshing to think that we almost have a leader that is again respected around the world. These foreign nations are our friends and if you take a step back and listen to how they are trashing our country and how ticked off they are at the US right now, you would understand that we desperately need someone to make amends and repair the damage that Bush and his administration has caused. Our reputation has been severely damaged and we need to get back in good standing.

    How can you trust McCain when his greatest strength is national security and the war on terror and he doesn't even understand what has happened in Iraq????

    Wake up People! This country cannot afford to go through another Bush administration which what will happen if McCain is elected.

    July 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    AMEN TO THAT........ SHIRLEY Y -SEATTLE!

    I AM SO TIRED OF PEOPLE WHO CAN'T MAKE A CASE AGAINST SEN. OBAMA OTHER THAN JUST ATTACK........ATTACK AND DEMEAN!

    He IS NOT OUR SAVIOR, we KNOW WHO OUR SAVIOR IS! I am profoundly offended by people who attempt to insult those of us supporting a decent, brilliant man!

    If this is all you've got, please, be quiet!

    July 24, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. A NATION OF WHINERS for OBAMA

    WE ARE CERTAIN OBAMA KNOWS THE

    NAME OF THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR,

    UNLIKE OUR FOREIGN RELATIONS "EXPERT" MCBUSHWHO

    IN A SPEECH REPEATEDLY SAID "PUTIN PRESIDENT OF GERMANY".

    DON'T BELIEVE ME , GOOGLE IT.

    July 24, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. HURRAH ! HURRAH !

    media induced big hurrah...for the obama-man..Tomorrow WHEN the band
    stops and the lights are out.....and in the dark the American people
    will see how they have been taken on this false ride.

    The big fall for Obama will Come November,2008 when America, the smart will choose the right man.....MCCAIN

    //////////////////////////.............YES MCCAIN.......................////////////////////////////////////

    July 24, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Sylvia

    OBAMAFEST!. I am jealous of the Germans.

    July 24, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. doc

    JFK your not Barack, all this huppla, if U lose this election what smuck U are going to look like and how will that reflect upon the American People. I have not decided yet because of the issues I feel are important asides your image,U can still lozzzz, so quite playing at Presidental Image this job is more than angles and achidemic's those you R qualified @ lets here the details details we have along road back to the 9/11 image the world thought of us the time for substance is upon the American People.

    July 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Gag me with a big spoon!!! Just looking at the stupid brigades–marching like lemmings on hype, circumspection, and pure hope-with very little susbtance or desire for it.

    Sounds like the Democratic Socialist Party whose motto is: "say what we want to hear not what you'll actually do".

    In Germany–they're used to leaders who are uninvolved and asleep at the switch.

    That would be a change for us in America.

    July 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Phil From VA

    So many people. Go Obama. America will be #1 if he is the president. OBAMA 08. We love you.

    July 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Julius

    As a German, I – such as many other Germans – feel offended, that Barrack Obama, who is just a candidate in this election, uses German history and places for his campaign. He has nothing to do with Germany and just hopes to get some cheering Germans for the media. That's an insenstitive way of campaigning.

    July 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Justin, Ohio

    Of course they're flocking to see Obama. After all, they also elected Hitler. And we all know that Hitler promised the world and offered change. Also... as we know he definitely gave change.

    Hitler in preparation of executing the monumental plans to redesign Berlin into Welthauptstadt Germania (World Capital was the name Adolf Hitler gave to the projected renewal of Berlin) part of his vision for the future of Germany the Nazis relocated the pillar to its present location, Originally the column was built to celebrate the military successes of Prussia over Denmark, and was originally positioned in front of the Reichstag. Hitler decided to move the column in 1938, and added 7.5 metres to its height while he was at it.

    July 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Paul Ronco

    Obama is a corporate candidate at the helm of a spineless and irrelevant political party. After eight years of being raped by a fascist dictator and we only favor him by four points? What does that tell you about the ignorance of this country?

    July 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Sharon

    I am angry that his trip is being paid by the American taxpayers. It should be paid by his campaign.

    July 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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