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. TheWeaselMcCain

    Typical White Person & BlackMan4Mac, take a look at CNN... The Germans are running, NOT trotting, to get the best seat to see and hear the next president of the United States speak about WORLD unity. You dimwits need to take notice and STOP trying to represent people you know nothing about. The both of you are nothing more than internet FRAUDS. LOL

    July 24, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Concerned in Alabama

    Why is America so mad, angry, and bitter about the attention that Obama is getting abroad? See, that just goes to show that other countries don't have a "color" problem........only in America.........the black guy is getting too much attention.

    Call the cops; the black guy is getting too much attention trying to show that America is what it once was!

    July 24, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. susie

    He feels he has the Presidency secured here at home. The new change is to be commander of the world!

    July 24, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Busted

    BlackMan4Mac, (4th post)

    Most black people are for Barack Obama but there are some who are NOT for Barack Obama. But you, sir ,are NOT a black man. It shows in the venom of your words. So, cut the crap!!

    July 24, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. The Lord's will

    I am a Nigerian and was in Milan with one of my American friend October 2004 and we prayed earnestly for Bush to win the pending election since we never liked the seemingly unchristian garment Kerry wore.
    Today America will be doing herself a disfavour if she fails to see that God has hand in the emergence of Obama.
    The whole world is seeing it and has bowed.


    July 24, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Upon Further Review,Texas

    I dont agree with everything Obama says,but after 8 yrs of the knuckledraggers running things we do need a change. The World is tired of warmongers, neocons, and fake cowboys shooting from the hip.The state of Texas`s reputation will forever be tarnished now and so will real cowboys.

    July 24, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. E POP

    McCain would place a higher priority on finding new enemies than on cultivating new friends.
    There is sooo much hate in this country and it is really scary to see what these people really think. Too bad our own people cannot see what the rest of the world is seeing. Barak will be the next president of the U.S. and you know what? Your ignorant comments will not stop him. Now go to your televisions and enjoy one of the most memorable,important speeches of our lifetime.
    P.S. If you do not like or appreciate what Obama is doung for our country and around the world, then Canada or Mexico would love to have ya! OBAMA 08 AND BEYOND!

    July 24, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. California Voter

    Another speech. . . I'm sure it will be great as Obama is a fantastic speech maker . . . .but this whole trip has been a campaign boondoggle
    and not a "listening session". I guess when you've got more money than you know what to do with you go on a trip abroad.

    I'm still waiting to know who the real Obama is . . . 20 years a member of a black liberation church whose pastor preached hate and racism???

    July 24, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. GIFTY

    This speech era and little or no action
    Go John

    July 24, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Ohio

    I like it Punch Drunk – Hope it works for Americans as jobless rates rose again today – and we are in serious trouble – have not heard anything about how he plans to fix this Country – – I will vote for him but realy prefer someone with experience – not another guy who is going to be pulled by strings – which is exactly happening here – he is so being used and so is going to be a puppet – journalism – what journalsim – that is a dirty word – I have not seen, read or listened to good journalism in the past 4 months – really they are punch drunk – they really are telling all america what to do – lets see if america listens – they ususally do – dumb – we are a democracy too bad the news people forgot that.

    July 24, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Mike in ATL

    You go Obama, make America shine once more. May God guide you and the words that come out of your mouth.

    July 24, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Martin

    To 45Revolver – It doesn't really matter if Obama has policies or not. The world wants the opposite of "Monkey Boy Bush".

    That's the problem with John McSame.....the world doesn't want another old conservative white guy. He's incredibly boring...watching him give a speech reminds me of a dork college professor rambling on while the students sleep and drool on their desk.

    You can blame Bush for the voters wanting to punish the GOP in November.

    July 24, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. Linda

    The crowd in Berlin won't go to the polls, Americans will and they are not stupid!

    Remember the crowd of 75,000 at Obama rally in Oregon? Obama still lost most of the states to Hillary! Hold your breath Mr. Rock Star!

    July 24, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. shay

    Obama is my kind of commander and chief. He took on the challenge from McCain and now McCain and people who do not like Obama wants to complain. If he did not take on the challenge you would still complain and whine.. He is dam if he does and he is dam if he doesn't.

    McCain just don't seem to get it. Is he out of touch? Yes, I would rather have a commander and chief who believes in sitting down and talking to the enemy and keeping them close, to see if something can be worked out to avoid a war. War redeems nothing. If you can talk it out then do it.

    July 24, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. Latinos for Obama

    Obama the future President that will bring back dignity and respect to the White House. The world is watching!

    July 24, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. J. Richter

    Is it really possible for speech writers to create a great speech devoid of the speaker – oh hater. Some of Barack's speeches are great not because of delivery but because of content – like the personal speech on his patriotism or his race speech (you have to be him or a close friend or family member to write more than 50% of those speeches).

    Speech writers are two in a dozen. Speech writers can be hired. Why cant Bush or McCain hire one or any other politician who is not a great speech writer. Hint: Read one of his books (he won an award on those). Someone wrote those two? One was before he was anybody? You think they teach sitting around and blogging hate at Havard or that the editor of a Havard Law Review will not be able to write an excellent speech?

    July 24, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Democrats Unite & Vote Big

    To 45Revolver – General speeches given by any candidate, especially to people abroad, are never really going to include a lot of details about policy. Policy details are usually laid out in other places – such as their websites, other in-depth websites, print interviews, etc. You're just not looking in the right place.

    July 24, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Brett

    Hey, no need to watch the speech, I have an advance copy right here:
    "Change, change, change...no experience necessary...change, change, change." – Senator Barack Obama.

    I digress. The only people that DO care about this are strict sensationalists. Such a tragedy...

    July 24, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Rexanna

    Egads! It's not the second coming of Christ after all. Isn't anyone else concerned about how quickly this man has come to the attention of the world, and who is behind his quick rise to popularity?

    And isn't he a bit full of himself, meeting world leaders as if he were one himself?

    And if you give a rat's behind about what the world thinks of us, then you are probably the kind of person who will spend thousands of dollars on a pair of shoes, to make sure you fit in. I'm proud to be an American under the leadership of George Bush, just as I was proud to be an American under the leadership of Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter and yes, even Richard Nixon. These people do not define who we are as a country, or what we have achieved in getting to the place where we are now. America is NOT the leadership (which includes many incorrigibles in Congress, and those are the ones, please remember, who do run this country), it is all of us combined – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    And yes, the media is all over itself, following him and putting him in the best light. What in the world happened to unbiased reporting of NEWS? It's not just CNN, it's all of the media, in one direction or the other. I wish Walter Cronkhite were back in the chair – at least we would have stories about what is news, and the news would be reported in a factual matter, with no obvious bias showing.

    Lord, please help me take a nap until this media crap is done and over with.

    July 24, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. No Obama in 08

    Not voting for a puppet propped up by the media who changes his position every time the wind blows.

    July 24, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Joe

    This guy makes me puke!

    July 24, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. dave

    i wonder if he will be driven or will he levitate to the podium. i'm sure fainting spells will be high.

    July 24, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Ms. Outlaw

    Obama Mania!!! I love IT !!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. mayahh

    GO KING, OBAMA, the universe awaits you, such a breath of fresh air,

    July 24, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. William, from Cali!

    Let's be real here. All the "pandering " of the last week, is nothing but, Media-driven hype," political window dressing". Europe,namely France, Germany, and Russia......... are not "all that concerned" ;of our fight against the terrorists and the spread of "global terrorism",where do they be in Iraq? they rather "make love, and pacify the enemy", than go to war and defeat them. The Brits being the lone exception...........So, why all the pandering to Europe?

    July 24, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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