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. NPA

    I wonder how John McCain will lash out this time around. Poor grumpy old man, he wants to be pe-su-dunt.

    July 24, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. Ken Pittsburgh

    Obama you are a United States Sentor just address the issues and stay on message of the trip you will do fine.

    July 24, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. marianna

    Ich bin keine Berliner!

    July 24, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  4. NotFallingInLine.org

    * * * BREAKING NEWS * * *

    * * * All humanity tunes in to learn how much longer American Idol contestant Barack Obama can fool the world into thinking that a man with no credentials for the office of president of the United States whatsoever is a real candidate in the 2008 presidential race. * * *

    The supposed leaders of the Democratic Party have betrayed our core principles of democracy and have failed us all. Once Obama's been humiliated in November, those who enabled him have to go.

    July 24, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  5. Mike - Texas

    I my kids and myself have to learn to speak Spanish, Obama had better darn well deliver this speach to the German people in German.

    If not, then Obama is a hypocrite.

    July 24, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. obama

    Obama = Made in USA.

    That's what the world happened to love about the usa.

    July 24, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  7. proud army and navy mom

    i am looking forward to the senator's speech. I am glad the people across the Atlantic can see what a good and honorable man sen obama is. They are right. The future belongs to the youth.

    July 24, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. Bob Stephens

    Goo Obama is there instead of McSame who would probably start talking about how if he is President he would "tear down that wall".....

    July 24, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  9. Mario Bratfisch, Berlin

    I'm very excited, in a few hours he will speak here, in Berlin. I was watching all the primaries and caucus results, I kept being awake till 3-4 a.m. in the morning just to see the results. I was pro Obama from the very beginning until now and I think and hope, he wll become the next President of the United States.
    I'm very excited he has come to germany now and let's see, what he will tell us exactly 🙂

    Thanks CNN for your great reports of the primaries, I watched it and I like it and I'm looking for your election-coverage in around 3.5 months when it comes to Nov. 4th.

    Obama 08+12

    July 24, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Pat

    Obama will definintely be a welcome change from the previous leader's, "your either with me or your against me." And for anyone who had any doubt about Obama's sense of purpose in Europe I'm sure his reference to being a citizen not a President should clear that up!
    I'm sure an Obama White House will be much more attentive to the
    wishes and needs of the American People. The Hillary supporters who have banned together to debunk Obama's Nomination need to grow up and realize they could be instrumental in plunging Americans into another four years of Bush Devastation!

    Obama's style is not even comparable to the Bush style of Politics which will be a definite plus for his Campaign. A plus McCain unfortunately can't claim. He is a Bush clone in all respects!

    July 24, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  11. Rose

    Geez, yet another major speech, this guy is full of talk. He will say what they want to hear just like all of his other speeches.

    July 24, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. vicky ballantine

    We only know what the media (all forms) lets us know.
    I feel , sometimes, that Mr. O'bama forgets he isn't the president, yet.
    I hope he hurries home from his 'world tour' so he can tell the people in America, just what he is going to do about the economy,energy,health care ,etc, without re-fining his re-fining again.
    Good thing he has a large place to preach in, inn Germany. His ego would not fll a smaller place.Does he know what humility is?

    I'm one unhappy democrat.

    July 24, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  13. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Germany's fiscal situation isn't much better than the U.S. or other nations right now. While leaders in Europe are trying to extricate them from many of the failures of overly socialistic and anti-freemarket policies, the U.S. is attempting to duplicate all of their mistakes on social policy, healthcare, and economics.

    I'm I the only one who sees something wrong with a President who want's to pursue failed public policy, untested foreign policy, and who has no grasp of macro-economics?

    July 24, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. I Wonder

    Good for you President Obama. Get off of the egocentric train of most (the majority) Americans. Those in the minority realize that the world is made up of more than just Americans. Until we have a leader who promotes unity and parternership, we will continue to be the most hated country in the world which, as evidenced in the most recent 7 years, will lead to a quick demise – consider mortgages and the state of the economy, consider the lack of employment. No More Bush/McSame. We need a true leader, a real man and not another coward in office.

    July 24, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |

    It's fantastic that we can now have respect and admiration again from other countries. To those who don't care what the rest of the world thinks of us – GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND! This is a very small planet and we can't stand alone; you see what good it's done us. It's time for America to stand tall again & lead the world, not disengage it and that's what you'd get with McSame. Barack Obama is exactly what we need right now. GO OBAMA – YOU MAKE US PROUD!

    July 24, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. NY State of mind



    July 24, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  17. Earl

    I can hear McWar SCREAMING now:

    'It wasn't me that suggested him to go on this trip, it was my staff"

    I would say it's time to change staff "ol' fella"

    July 24, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  18. Steve

    Someone please make sure he doesn't say that he's a jelly donut in German.

    July 24, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  19. Anonymous

    July 24th, 2008 5:49 am ET

    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.

    And here we have, in a nutshell, the problem with Americans.

    July 24, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. Cindy Hussein McCain

    I love Obama! I want him to be the next president of the US. He will help restore our image to the world.

    July 24, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  21. obamacrat

    Tonight Obama will give a historic speech in front of 100K in Europe that will bring Europe and the US closer together. Meanwhile McCain's cronies will be listening to every word looking for the slightest thing they can attack Obama on. Which campaign would you rather be a part of?

    July 24, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. sasy

    It will definitely be another excellent speech that promotes peace and changes in the whole world. Senator Obama is what the whole world need now at this time of uncertainty. Senator Obama as the next world leader, will bring that glory to the whole world again.

    July 24, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  23. Judgement over Experience

    Hey Typical White Person – you obviously are a typical repuglican – misinformed, biased, close minded and filled with empty rhetoric because if you'd bothered to go to Barack's website, he's had his PLANS laid out for over a year. And they are fully detailed and specific. BTW does your boy toy mcwar have any other campaign strategy besides bashing Obama and talking about the failed Iraq war? If he does we never hear it.

    July 24, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. prefer O koolaid than your McArsenic

    it is clear to me reading some of these comments that while OBL is a dangerous, ruthless man, he has nothing on some of you who call yourselves Americans...TYP, TTD, Lisa and the rest of you anti-Patriots make al Qaeda look like boy scouts. you represent the worst of what we are, you guys/gals are the reason we are so hated around the world. Obama has the ability to inspire Americans and allies but more importantly the world....you have seen evidence of this FACT all this week. try to live in the dream that makes us great instead of your nightmare of hate.

    Obama 08

    July 24, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. heatmiser

    Blackmanformac: This IS important because one of President Skippy's biggest f*#*^up's is totally blowing the feeling of sympathy and willingness to help us out that Europe, and the entire world, had for us after 9/11. His idiotic intransigence and stubbornness about this Iraq escapade ruined any chance of making this a truly worldwide effort to stamp out terrorism once and for all, which is what it will take to end terrorism. We cannot run this War on Terror all by our lonesome's, Iraq has proven at least that much, we need a TRULY WORLDWIDE coalition, similar to what Daddy Bush had in '91. We didn't pay a single dime for that war because he was smart enough to realize this. I suppose this particular apple fell about 5 miles from that tree.

    July 24, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
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