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. Chris from Baltimore


    ...John McCain rides around and around in a golf cart.

    July 24, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. not important

    Why is JFK so great? John F. Kennedy supported the Diem coup and started the Vietnam war. So why is JFK so great? Maybe Obama is the new JFK?

    July 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Unify On Issues

    Can't wait to see the speech! Go Obama!

    July 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |

    You got to love it. Registering while abroad.

    July 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Susan

    Obama garners respect, while McCain garners disdain. OBAMA 08!

    July 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Abby

    International respect! It’s beautiful!

    Stop it with the "he’s not running for president of Germany" comments. HE'S RUNNING FOR 'LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD'!!! We are living in global economy and a dangerous world where we need our friends on our side. Bravo Senator obama!

    July 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO



    July 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Sally

    Obama will bring peace to the world.

    McCain will bring war.

    Your choice.

    July 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Henry n New York

    If the polls are correct what they are saying should really bother Americans as a whole. What it depicts is that you have one candidate that has made confusing statements regarding several areas of foreign policy. McCain has confused Shia and Sunni; he has moved Iraq's border next to Pakistan; he argues a tactical right (the surge) judgment against an overall mid-east plan (Iraq is the wrong war, wrong country, wrong enemy) and wrong on our future position regarding Iraq. The Iraq government wants U.S. troop withdrawal, Senator Obama has called for that withdrawal for years, Afghanistan is becoming an increasingly dangerous project and Bin Laden has not been captured or killed. Obama's plans would save our soldiers and bring most of them home, it would go after a leader responsible for the death of thousands. McCain wants to stay in Iraq even against their wishes, he now wants to send the same number of troops to Afghanistan almost a year after Obama first called for more troops there. He voted against the current GI bill and yet the polls say over 40 percent of Americans still would vote for him. Hillary supporters say they are voting for McCain even though he doesn't believe a women has a right to control her own body and he wants to make abortions illegal. If the polls aren't altered, slanted or bias then it appears their is only one obvious reason. Many Americans must be polling on skin color and not the content of the candidates campaigns. Another sad realization of American immaturity, lack of unity and inheritant prejudice just maybe the result of our next election and if that happens – God help us all. This just could be worst than the last 8 if McCain gains the White House.

    July 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    It's like Woodstock with great beer!

    July 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. John

    lucky Germans wish I was there. Go Obama. Iowans for Obama.

    July 24, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. sherry







    July 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. James Hussein, SC

    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge

    July 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. ali


    July 24, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Ian

    It's too bad McCain doesn't know how to use the internet. I would love for him to see the word "Obamafest". Hahaha.

    July 24, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    Obama is a world leader and americans should be glad we are having a better choice for president!


    July 24, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. marianna

    Obama for President

    ... of Germany 😉

    July 24, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Brittany. LA

    Our Messiah is now in Berlin. Will the Germans prostrate themselves at his feet as the Americans do?

    July 24, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    Hope some of the "Obamafest" buttons will be gettable here. How fun! What an exciting time for all of us; and a precursor of hopeful things to come.

    What time is the speech? Anyone???????

    Obama '08

    July 24, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. NotFallingInLine.org

    * * * 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 can last as a 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 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Vigla

    See, the Europeans know how to have a good time! Can't wait to hear the speech!

    July 24, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Dan from Kitchener

    Eat your heart out McCain and CNN.

    July 24, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Fred

    Wow, this could possibly be the biggest event from someone running for president who is not even elected ever have. He not only has americans but also europoeans excited as well. He may as well go to asia just becuase.

    A great day for America.

    July 24, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. fella from Chicago

    This is nothing more than a political rally held in a country where Hitler is still revered in many parts of Germany. So of course these people are excited. They think it's the second coming of the "fuhrer".

    July 24, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Jason L

    I am gonna heckle CNN.. hows that grab ya??

    What exactly are our strategic interests in Israel again?? They have no oil, nothing really to "sell" to the U.S.

    When was the last time anyone was at Wal-Mart or Target and said, Whoa, where did all these Jewish made products come from, i'm seeing less Chinese goods these day! LMAO Hmmm must be the influx of lawyers that Israel supplies us..

    I am sick of America being in bed with Israel and the taxpayers dollars, Billions of them ending up supporting Israel's terrorist attacks on the Palestinian people.. We supply them with Nuclear technology. Fighter planes, weapons.. If the U.S. were to be less friendly with Israel and stop our influence, then maybe peace in the middle east would be achieved.

    Obamafest.. what a joke. This isn't Woodstock or Ozzfest. FREAKS!!

    July 24, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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