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. Debby

    Oh please the German people don't care if Obama makes his speech's over there why should there be a big crowd. The media is pushing Obama's popularity a bit much.

    July 24, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Emma

    Stop hating Obama!

    If McCain had a strategic mind and team surrounding him, he never would have goaded Senator Obama into this trip. Now John McCain looks like an old crusty mean man.

    It was McCain who started the ticking clock, now he has gotten what he deserves, a highly intelligent African American beating a white man at his game.

    Senator Obama '08, John McCain rocking chair!

    July 24, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. jimmy p

    This guy is such an arrogant tool!

    July 24, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. OBAMA Supporter all the way

    All of you Obama haters should stay off blogs responding to his articles and focus on McCain's articles. He's the one that "desperately" needs support! Go help him out!

    July 24, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Sue

    "..coming together..." with Europe? We are talking one-world government here, folks. Are you listening?

    July 24, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Phil, FL

    I'm ashamed every time McWarmonger bumbles thru one of his attempts at a basic sentence.

    I'm so proud that the rest of the world sees that not ALL people in the US are stupid like McWarmonger and Bushie.

    Go Obama '08

    July 24, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. A nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I am happy that Germany by the hundreds will go to hear an American speak. Although this American has no credentials except a happy go lightly feel good speech, it is good that Germans will hear those words.

    Now you know and I know that they are empty words. But the Germans will believe them as they did the words from the Grimms Brothers and Adolph Hitler. The Germans believe anything that is said.

    We Americans however weigh the words and we can tell what is fluff and what is poppycock.

    Obama is like the July corn in our fields. Nice and greenl, big and tall but not good yet. Not mature. Not ready for harvest. Not experienced in the ways of the world.

    Vote McCain

    July 24, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Susan

    He will do the American people proud with his speech today. The only way for McLame to get a tiny bit of distraction today is to announce his VP selection. It does not matter who he chooses, their political career will go down the toilet with McLames.

    July 24, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    I'll bet he doesn't try to give her an inappropriate back-rub like Dumbya did...

    July 24, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Mike the Independent from Ohio

    Does this guy do anything but make speaches, and where does CNN get the idea that this speach is " much-anticipated", All he will do is stand in front of an audience and say "Change, John McCain like Bush, Change" and you Obamabots will all think it was the greatest speach, this guy becomes more of a joke everyday

    July 24, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. C in NYC

    I love that people complain that Obama gave no "plan" as for what is needed with Isreal and Europe..You all know the world hates us more than France right?(no offense to any French people here)...We are prob in the bottem 5 most "respected" countries in the world (notice I didn't say emmulated). ..anyone who says "who cares what europeans/the world thinks" are the same idiots who put a moron in office for the last 8 years

    July 24, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. Vigla

    You anti-Obama people make me sick! YOu hear the same, tired attacks every day. He's elitist, he doesn't now what he's doing, he looks lost, the media loves him, he's a socialist, he lies, etc.

    What a bunch of ****! McCain is 10 times worse. The man is in politics for 30 years and he changes positions more then the wind changes direction. He's agreeing with Bush because it's politically convenient. I agree both have done this, but McCain is so long in politics that he look more like he's pandering than Obama does.

    Let's be honest with each other. Obama is the right choice this election. A McCain presidency will result in 4 years of deadlock, more conservative "constructionist" judges who will take away our freedoms and give more power to corporations, and an endless occupation of Iraq. Not to mention out standing in the world declining even more as McCain's temper will no doubt reflect on the rest of the world. I mean, McCain called Obama a traitor yesterday! A candidate for president of the US, and he essentially calls him a traitor...

    Give me a break. Our choice is clear, even if you may not agree fully with his policies, Obama is the only choice if we want to get out of the mess conservatives have placed us in since the "Reagan revolution".

    July 24, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    CNN is not the social guider, they are lost. I am very sad there are no any righteous reporters or editors at CNN. I stopped to watch MSNBC, Foxnews many months ago, and I am not interested in CNN since Hillary dropped out, I watch the shows rather than News.
    I wonder what is Obama's position? What makes Obama think he speech for US in Europe? There is no any better speaker in there than Obama? Two years Senator is greater than life long politicians?
    People lost their mind, I ignore all of nonsense. Just wait November.

    July 24, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. murry from Arizona

    I'm also voting for OBAMA cuz he has the higher IQ. I just can't believe Bush yesterday saying that WallStreet was drunk. He's so stupid & to think that there are people out there who still back him. & there are those out there who would still back McCain. He's another who can't speak to adults. I'm tired of not having a president who we can be proud of as well as knowing that our allies are also thinking "what a stupid idiot the US has as an A–H-"' I just can't wait til Obama is president! What a welcomed change for the entire world!

    July 24, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. Dem

    The media is the only ones in love with Obama. Sure isn't that way with alot of us in America.....

    July 24, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. SaveTheDramaFoObamasMama

    I dont like Obama.

    July 24, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  17. Fordy in Jamaica

    Americans are such hypocrits. You challenged Obama to show that he could look presidential on the world stage and now that he's doing it, he's now being presumptious and acting like he's already the president. I'm convinced that the only thing Obama can do right is become a white man. If i were Obama I'd be calling Michael Jackson right now.

    July 24, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Greg, NY

    BlackMan4Mac 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.

    Here are your answers, one by one:

    We care what Europe thinks because the countries there are our allies and if they view us in a poor light, we will never get their aid. If they look up to us, we will have a much better relationship with them, creating a better world atmosphere which boosts the economy.

    They can't have him as their president because he is not a citizen of any European countries.

    I bet they would vote him into office as he is polling in at least the 60's of most countries there and 70's in others, including Germany.

    Saying that they just want to see us go down with him is ridiculous. They are expecting a crowd of 100,000 people to watch him speak today, you're telling me that all of these people just want to watch America go down in flames? Simply ridiculous.

    July 24, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. Obama 08

    WOW! Everyone who has traveled abroad recently knows that America has never been despised so much. Bush's arrogance and unwillingness to listen to anyone is the reason why.

    Now the GOP wants to convince you that Obama is the one who is being arrogant by simply visiting Berlin and speaking there.

    Barack Obama offers a fresh start with our European allies and it is no surprise that he is so popular.

    July 24, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. PGB

    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.

    What are you talking about? His website is full of his policies.

    July 24, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Jim P

    The German's haven't been this excited since 33!

    July 24, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. ET from OMAHA

    You've got to be a pure Insane Republican voting against your own and country's interest or a pure Racist Bigot not to vote for OBAMA.
    I've never seen a perfect candidate in decades.
    I hope there is not that many out there.
    Gob blessed America and OBAMA for POTUS 2008

    July 24, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. Mike

    Who is anticipating this? We have heard enough of his speeches...instead of touring the world he should be holding some congressional hearings...

    July 24, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. carolflowery

    it will be much like Hillary's hilarious rant which i thought was brilliant
    "the skies will open up, the choruses will sing, and all will be perfect in the world" as if we are all perfect, yeah right

    Saddam Hussein is dead thank the Lord, otherwise, he wouldnt be going to Iraq or anywhere else for that matter, by the way, with no help from Germany, thank you so much when we needed you most

    July 24, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. David

    For all you close-minded provincial natured people who obviously have never ventured outside of your own little worlds to realize we live on a PLANET, (yes really!) a GLOBE that has other countries, your condescending remarks show that you have absolutely NO idea of the damage your Republican good ol' boys Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz?Rove/Rummy/Rice have done to destroy our image abroad.
    Whether you like it or not, we DO need to co-exist and having Obama in the White House would go a long way in restoring relations which in turn will pave the way for improvement in world affairs as well as many other areas for all of us.

    July 24, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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