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

Obama prepares to deliver much-anticipated speech in Berlin

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/07/24/obama.trip/art.obama.berlin.gi.jpg caption="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. Typical White Person

    Report this morning that Obama gave no details about his plans for the region while in Isreal...

    ... and him not having a plan, this is something new?

    July 24, 2008 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  2. Barbara

    Will CNN carry Sen. Obama's speech live?

    July 24, 2008 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  3. Debby, NJ

    You Gooooooo Obama

    July 24, 2008 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  4. BlackMan4Mac

    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.

    July 24, 2008 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  5. Proud American

    Represent Obama! Show the World that we are still the greatest country. Even after all the damage the Republicans have caused.
    Obama '08

    July 24, 2008 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  6. Olu Akins

    That's my boy. Always looking presidential. Mcwar and his old, tired, no ideas, jealous, lying, negative cronies must be feeling very angry at the attention the main man is getting all over the world. That must actually tell everyone something when talking about world peace. Everyone, every nation loves this guy. Asia, Africa and Europe are for OBAMA.

    July 24, 2008 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  7. Ayo 'Jay Jay' Faturoti

    All the way Baracky!!!!

    Barack 08!!!

    Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?

    July 24, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  8. Solomon Freeman

    I love the man, American treasure him and the world awaits him. This is America moment, this is our time again to lead.

    I guess it wont take too long a time for the rest of the Americans, Dem or Rep to take hold of the God given opportunity to us once again.

    July 24, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  9. rachel

    I am sure he did look at their speeches after all he is trying to copy their every move.

    July 24, 2008 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  10. McAwesome

    A much anticipated propoganda speech to promote, well, himself.

    July 24, 2008 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  11. Mike from Germany

    Only general Bundestags elections draw more interest from people that OB's speech, 6 TV networks will show it live and some 100.000s of people will come to the Victory Column.

    Germany loves BO, and hopes with much optimism he will heal the harm that George W. did to the relation of our countries.

    July 24, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  12. catjax

    Writers for Obama, This orator is ready to read the prepared speech.
    just words, and not substance. Heard him interviewd by Gibson, he could not answer questions. What a phony baloney.!.

    July 24, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  13. Cricket

    Sen. Obama has shown on this visit that if anyone can change the worlds' opinion of the U.S., he can. I am tired of having most of the world hate us!


    July 24, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  14. 911wille

    Oh I can hardly wait CNN, your annoited one Barack, in Europe with all those drooling crowds chanting "Yes we can" in foreign languages. God help us...

    July 24, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  15. peter

    That's complete BS. Obama is purposfully doing this speech because he can make good speeches this is unprecedented and is more of something a president would do. The question is would he give this speech if he wasn't running for potus? Heck no. He is presumptious and arrogant and his policies are just plain wrong and socialist.

    July 24, 2008 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  16. Wrob

    I eagerly await Obama's speech. We are tired of being regarded in such a negative light around the world – anyone who travels come back surprised at the intensity. No other representative would do better than Obama to restore America's image overseas. We are blessed he arrived on the scene. America, we need Obama much more than he needs us.

    July 24, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  17. 45Revolver

    OF COURSE his speech won't be a "policy wonk" speech...the man has NO POLICIES! This nation is punch drunk and can't name a thing the man stands for in the way of actual policy! Have you tried asking his supporters why they support him? Their answers are Just as vague as his speeches

    July 24, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  18. Rob

    Gutten Tag, Herr President Obama.

    July 24, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  19. Mark Thiel

    What a wonderful picture of Mr. Obama and Chancellor Merkel. What happened with "live" pictures vs. this obviously staged picture. It that how journalism has gone? We no longer have reality, we have opinions and stages! Why not have Getty provide the lead up to this picture which I'm sure would be to move a little here or there so the pose is perfect for the media to adore.

    July 24, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  20. gail galle

    We're voting for Obama because of his high IQ . He's smart, quick thinking and waa raised in a loving home by people who instilled good core values of talking first .. not going to war.

    There were many other POW not just one John Mccain . He never made decisions such as General do.

    July 24, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  21. Tom Eyemdaman

    I'll bet you CNN is just giddy over this "much-anticipated" speech.

    They not only report everything Obama does, the report everything he's about to do with such enthusiasm.

    They even make up content to keep him in the media "Obama daughters won't be heartbroken if Obama loses"

    Yeah, but CNN will.

    July 24, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  22. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    What is wrong with these reporters? How many times do Obama have to tell them that he is a citizen and not the president of the USof A.? Maybe mccain is right, the media has fallen in love with Obama and is ashamed to admit it.

    July 24, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  23. Donkey Party

    What a great moment in history for Americans to not just elect a new national leader, but a world leader as well. Too bad there are so many ignorant folks out there that won't seize this opportunity due to their brain-washing by the likes of narrow-minded Republicans, the Limbaughs and Hannitys out there , and silly little girls-clubs like PUMA. Hopefully, the people in this country that want our country back from these fear-mongering, racist, hate-spewers will mobilze and vote OBAMA!!!

    July 24, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  24. Mccain Lies!

    They love you Obama. Mccain couldn't and wouldn't draw these types of crowds nor interest. They view him as more of the same.

    July 24, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  25. deb in az

    i would really like to know when you folks in the media elected barack obama? did i miss voting in the general election? maybe we should all just sit at home and let you folks elect him on the news.......you clearly are blind sided and very biased over there at cnn.......you are now tearing apart everything that sen mccain says as you did with sen clinton.......why dont you just focus on the issues instead of any mispoken words.....we all know sen obamas judgement issues with his church.....besides he doesnt really have the nomination yet, does he?

    July 24, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
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