July 24th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
14 years ago

On the Scene: 'Obamafest' hits Berlin

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.berlin1.cnn.jpg caption="Onlookers gather for Obama's Thursday speech in Berlin, Germany."]BERLIN, Germany (CNN) – Crowds have grown and thinned throughout the day outside of the swank Adlon Hotel where Barack Obama and his entourage are preparing for the Democratic presidential candidate’s visit here.

Police have closed off part of the street in front of the hotel which sits in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate as throngs lean on metal barriers, cameras in hand, hoping to get a glimpse of the man himself.

Watch: Crowds wait for Obama to speak in Berlin

Just a short walk up the road is the Victory Column where Obama will deliver his remarks, a speech he says will be a “substantive articulation of the relationship” he would like to see between the United States and Europe.

Although Obama and his aides have strongly denied politics plays a role in today’s event, a leisurely stroll towards the event site left a different impression.

Obama volunteers have set up shop on street corners, and are registering Democrats who live abroad to vote. “Anyone an American citizen?” bellowed one woman holding a homemade “register to vote” sign. “If you’re a Democrat abroad you must register to vote,” yelled her male counterpart. Takers were quickly ushered to a folding table manned by several eager Obama supporters, where they were provided paperwork to fill out.

A few were looking to cash in on the Obama frenzy. For 5 Euros one could pick up two unofficial Obama buttons. An Obama ’08 button with pictures of both John Kennedy and Barack Obama appeared to be doing well, but the prize went to the button that had Obama’s head atop the body of a beer garden waiter holding seven huge glasses of German brew. The button’s slogan? OBAMAFEST! Of course.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Ich bin ein Berliner not the JFK Speech

    (I am a Berliner)

    Ich bin ein Anfänger

    (I am a beginner)


    July 24, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. justin, georgia

    ok, Obama is the substence. You know what makes him so great? Mccain cant do anything but tear the man down and bring out all of his negatives, when obama disagrees with any one he runs against he just attacks policies. the Lord doesn't like it when we break eachother down, so take that for what its worth. in the end, mccain will get his for being so evil hearted towards obama:"obama would rather win a campaign and lose a war" thats like saying he doesnt care about people's lives. Mccain rode ina plane and got shot down, where is his substence? he was in washington for 25yrs, how well has that worked out?

    July 24, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Greg

    PaulC, I don't need to "get a grip." I know what's going on and exactly what's wrong with Obama. It's true Obama is a Socialist. Just look at how he wants to raise taxes on the rich only to benefit those too lazy to work. If such a progressive tax scheme isn't Socialism, I don't know what is. Not to mention doubling capital gains taxes which will only further stagnate investments (revenue goes DOWN when the tax rate is increased).

    Penalizing success is not the American way. Anyone supporting Obama is a Socialist. Stealing from those who work to give money/handouts to those who don't care enough about their own lives to get a job is at the heart of Socialism.

    The American Dream is that the sky's the limit if you put your mind to it and *WORK* for it. It is *NOT* "what can my government steal from those who work and give to me"...

    July 24, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Olive Oil (a-guhg-guhg-gugh)

    Hmm, when was the last time we saw huge fawning crowds gather in Berlin to hear an awe-inspriing, great orator speak? Hmm, when was that? It seems to me, the word schatzie comes to mind, but I'm sure that's not it, sweetie.

    July 24, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Lim

    Well, we had the dot.com bubble, the housing bubble, so it's
    about time that we have the presidential election bubble, aka
    the Obama campaign.

    If this bubble collapses before November then Obama is toasted.
    So pull out a chair, sit back and enjoy the show.

    July 24, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Salaam, Lawrence KS

    Jr wrote that "[Obama] should give some serious thought about running for president of the European Union." Buddy, one doesn't run for President of the EU. Heads of states of EU member countries take turn runing the Union. Obama is runing for President of the US, and will help restore a positive image of the american persona.

    July 24, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. aware

    Yes indeed, Obama is campaigning abroad! Political expediency is Obama's only game!

    The arrogant, egomanic with an overwhelming lust for power is working the Berliners now!

    I am ashamed of the whole Obama media myth! I don't think America will roll the dice for this guy! 🙁

    Former Democrat for McCain 08! 🙂

    July 24, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Doug, New Jersey

    Film the Obama speech in black and white and you will not see any difference from a speech given in the same place from 1933.

    July 24, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. gladis

    We Europeans loves O because he showned respect to us, he do not talk only about war, bomb and bomb. We are tired of wartalk. We want peaceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    Love Gladis

    July 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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