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. No Bam Bam Obama

    I'm curious....is Berlin the 57th state??

    July 24, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Nicosia, Petersburg,Va

    This man is restoring America's image with our Allies!!! Something John McCain would know nothing about. I love it.

    July 24, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. dems be dopes

    Obama said speech writing started about two weeks ago .........

    Now only if the teleprompters work...........God help him if he had to think on his feet or come up with an origional thought that was not handed to him by one of his 300 advisors.

    Follow the money, someone is paying large $$$ to get this empty suit elected.

    July 24, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. not an obamabot, thank GOD

    much anticipated by the media, nobody I know cares were he is giving his awe inspiring speech. wish we could just get this "election"(use that term lightly) over with and usher in King Obama, the solver of ALL problems.

    July 24, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Never Barak Obama

    Appeasement is what brought WWI & II, have we not learned from it!

    July 24, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |

    McCain goaded Obama about going to Iraq.(small thinking)....so Obama went a few steps further and is visiting about EIGHT countries......Obama is wise beyond his years and to know him is to respect him.....Mcain should be careful what he wishes for !!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. JC

    As much as I thought Obama's comments with reporters in Iraq were great, I was as equally uninspired by his comments yesterday in Israel. He backtracked, sidestepped, and gave corporate answers to many of the questions. I liked his Iraq comments because he seemed candid and some of his comments, which may not be that popular, represented him and his platform.

    As for the world loving the United States if Obama is elected, you are in for a rude awakening. Most of the world is still going to hate the United States because the US is one of the haves and the North-South problem is very dividing. It doesn't matter who the president of the US. Obama may be liked in Europe because he resembles many of the European socialists who are in power right now.

    July 24, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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