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. Former repug for Obama!

    45Revolver – lemme guess, you got your spit can sitting by your bed, you hunt, got that ole flag on your front porch, got that there bible somewhere nearby and rifles hanging on dem dare walls and you probably think mccain is a great guy. And you probably barely managed to finish 8th grade.

    July 24, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. GC

    I'm glad to see the rest of the world excited to see a US president. It's been some time since we've had that and is one of many things this country needs right now.

    With a flattening global economy and a rise in other counties' power (on the military and economic stage both), the US needs to be a leader that is respected and appreciated.

    July 24, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. Jon

    Why does this election of our president feel like a sick twisted manipulation. Every country around the world wants Obama. Not for our benifit, but there own. They ave there own self interest. To have us elect a weak inexperienced unknown will only help them get stronger and our country weaker. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Terrell

    For the person who said that he had no policy talk in Israel. He talked about America acting as a mediator between Israel and Palestine and that while anyone who is attacked has the right to strike back that the negotiations between them would be in regard to a two state solution. He also spoke on still having talks with Iran and letting Iran know that under his presidency he'd be offering incentives and punishments if Iran continued it's nuclear ambitions and continued threatening Israel.

    Watch and Read the coverage before speaking please. Too much talking not enough listening.

    Also, we are in a global economy that requires free trade for prosperity for any nation. He' s not against free trade he just wants to make sure American interests are covered properly in current and future agreements.

    July 24, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Reuben

    Shouldn't this type of speech be made AFTER the election??? This man thinks he can represent the US overseas already?? Lay out our plans for Europe before he has even won in November? A bit presumptuous and arrogant if you ask me..

    July 24, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |


    You can find all of Obama's policies on his website, it's very easy to find. Rather than wasting time posting on CNN because you are angry, why not actually educate yourself?

    barack dot obama dot com slash issues

    July 24, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Does Obama get more media coverage than McCain? Of course. Thank Obama's charisma and GW Bush's stupidity for the media infactuation with Obama.

    I have been checking the websites of following TV networks: FOX, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC. All of them have been giving Obama much more coverage than McCain. Even FOX has been giving Obama more coverage (although negative coverage) than McCain.

    Hopefully Obama will draw a crowd of 100,000+ to hear him speak in Germany and all will be chanting "Obama, Obama, Obama". That would make for a great TV moment that would carry at least 2 days worth of newscycle.

    July 24, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. Blackman4Mac reply

    Blackman4Mac said:
    Why do we care what europe thinks, this is not their vote.

    This is why people hate Americans! Ofcourse we need to care about what our allies in Europe think about us. We disregard people and then we want them to back us when we start senseless wars? Ignorant people like you damage US foreign relations with your stupidity!

    July 24, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. Z

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

    Hope he reads what someone else wrote before he delivers it. LOL

    Hussein Obama....What a joke!

    McCain 08'

    July 24, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. Austin Chuks, Lagos, Nigeria

    If the next president of the USA is so much loved as a Senator, what would happen WHEN he becomes the President? How else can u define foreign relations?

    Dialogue, Diplomacy are true features of foreign relations.

    President Obama "2008/2012

    July 24, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. Harrygton

    "BlackMan4Mac" Why do you need to brag about being " A black man for McCain" ??? Oh, I know! Cause the only black thing about you is your heart! Yeah you are right, what do we care that the American Dollar is a fraction of the Euro and Gasoline is heading for $10/gallon? We are gonna teach the whole WORLD how to be free... just like we did for Iraq!!!

    July 24, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. PUMA 4 HILL

    So, Soooooooooooooooooooooo tired of this guy delivering written speeches by those puppateers.

    In Berlin giving speeches now.

    I hope he loses BIG. Pander, Pander, Pander.... I can see the strings Barry.

    July 24, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. Peter

    The second world President after Nelson Mandela
    Let every American vote for this God choosen Leader

    July 24, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. JIM...TX

    Can McCain supporters say that he'd be as embraced as Obama has on visiting our Allies? I think NOT! The world has no doubt been shocked an sickened, as most American's have, of the Bush tactics these past 8 years an don't want a continuation of those by McCain. It's way past time we had a leader without the war mentality of Bush and his clone.........

    July 24, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. Puzzled

    blackman4mac, you obviously don't travel outside of the US. They hate us because of the current administration and their policies. The world is watch and are excited about Obama because even they know we need to change the course this country is on. Obama is not the President and has said it many times while he has been overseas. I don't understand why people are so upset that he has gone to other countries and represented us well.

    July 24, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. Barrack Obama

    Debby, NJ July 24th, 2008 5:38 am ET

    You Gooooooo Obama

    Listen Debby from NJ stop the Hate about BARRACK the Vote

    How about Mac is Back to win!! This is Barrack Obama and I want John McCain to win.

    Black People for McCAIN!!!!!!2008

    July 24, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. 4 McCain Now

    Repulsive... another speech prepared by who knows. I can see the telemprompter and the strings Barry.

    Make him dance during the speech Kerry, Kennedy, MoveOn. Pull the strings left, then right, then left.... that away.

    July 24, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. NH for Obama

    If you compare the two canidates, McSame is jsut that, the same. He is the same idea, same values and same lack of Hope for this wonderful country. Obama might be new and less tenured, but he presents him self with power and influence that can bring this economy back to where america belongs. For those who say he has no policies, thats because the media show boats, yes as an obama Fan i admit it, and you hear about him rather than his policies, go online do some research, read one of his books, pick up a newsweek and read the articile, you will learn what he is about.

    July 24, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Obamamania

    Why do we care what Europe thinks??? Because we need neighbors and allies in order to survive... we can't just bully everyone around and think that we can continue to be a superpower if we don't take other countries' needs and thoughts into consideration! Such an egocentric point of view is naive at best, but mostly fatal. Obama is smart to get other countries on our side. We need to restore our relationship with Europe. We owe that much respect to the other countries of the world.

    July 24, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Barrack Obama

    Olu Akins July 24th, 2008 6:10 am ET

    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.

    Yo OLU Akins why is it you mention ASIA, AFRICA, AND EUROPE but can't mention South America, Central America, and the Carribean why cause they HATE OBAMA!!! that why. You are a Racist!!!!!!

    Barrack Obama

    July 24, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |

    LOL all he does is "write speeches"..oh wait.. DAVID AXELROD is the man behind the curtain

    I hope his teleprompters break down!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Mel


    July 24, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. Ashenafi From Greece

    Even here, in Athens some people are very much interested to this man in the White house. By the way, why is John McCain trying to create terror in peoples mind? He always emphasizes how the world is dangerous for the US in every speech he made. Is this what you, Americans see about the world?

    July 24, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. Paul

    If this was Mcain in BERLIN, Germany May be more them One reporter would show up. ok I'll give him 10 reporters but there would only be 100 people there to hear him.

    July 24, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. makveli

    the public is interested or willng to have an idear of the United States of America politics holds for who should lead the nation between blacks and whites. so what's America's policy if Barack Obama warn as Americas president? i ask this qustion because there is an increased concern that Macain can be sworn in as America's president even if he did not win public vote according to America's policy.

    July 24, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11