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. Obama/Hillary 08

    The whole world is for Obama/Hillary for president.

    July 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Real Issues

    Of course the Germans won't be voting in a US election, but the new US president will be, hopefully, out retracing these same steps in repairing our country's position in the world theater. Our country would wither and die if it can't work well in this global economy. We NEED our allies in many different ways to prosper.

    Obama should rightly be commended for his ground laying work over seas this week. I don't think McCain could've accomplished a fraction of what Obama has done.


    July 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Peter (CA)

    Adam--good post using logic, bet the right wingers won't get it.

    Stop hating folks...everyone complained that Obama couldn't handle foreign affairs. So, he goes to the Middle East and Europe and shows he can.

    Now you complain that he is acting like he is president.....no, he is acting PRESIDENTIAL. Something the idiot in the White House should have tried out.

    July 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Derek

    Why don't you mention on your broadcasts that there are hundreds of thousands of American Citizens living here in Old Europe. I can say for myself that it does matter to me that Obama chose to come to Berlin where I live and vote In Berlin. Why dont you mention that indeed there are many many voting Americans and interested Europeans who care that there is this interest given to us here.

    July 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Tom

    Obamatans... it looks like you'll get your robot wish and Obama will win the election (like ANYONE could really lose to someone that wants to continue bush's policies) but mark my words... when you get your wish you will realise it was just as foolish of a wish as the one made by people who wanted to see Dubyah Bush elected.

    Europe can afford to like Obama. He wants to stop the Iraq war(supposedly) so they will automatically put him above Mccain. Also, they won't have to DEAL with him running THEIR country.. all they care about is us not hitting the hornets nests with a stick anymore. If Obama is elected I will leave my beloved homeland and move to europe for that very reason.

    July 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Reagan/Nixon '08

    Why doesn't Obama choose Kerry as his running mate? They can counter against the 'straight talk express' with the 'doubletalk/Flip flop express'. Did we really want someone pedaling a commodity they can't sell (hope, you can't get hope and keep it with those college educated, long winded speeches)? Can you see why the PUMA movement is growing? How is it that a man runs for President after being a senator for less than 180 days? Experience? We need that right now. Maybe McCain isn't the best choice, but he has more experience, willing to do what's right (not what's always possible, it is called fortitude, look up the senate's record to see who makes the hard choices and who makes the popular ones). Enough. Reagan/Nixon for the ticket in 2008!!!

    July 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Denise Groves

    he da man!! i am so proud of you barack hussein obama!!!! i wish your black kenyan father and white kansan mother had lived to see this!!!!!!
    little did they know they conceived our countries future first non-white prez!!! knock 'em dead!!!!

    i am looking forward to your election win!!!!


    July 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)


    The White House told US Attorneys who to prosecute if they wanted to keep their jobs.

    July 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Montana is Obama Country

    Although it appears most of Berlin is heading to Obama's speech today, US Foreign Service personnel will be banned from the event. And they are not happy.

    Typical current administration corruption

    July 24, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Bill Ford

    Watch the Obama Speech LIVE___RIGHT NOW. It is about to happen. Surf to n-tv.de and push the Obama Live button in the top right.

    I'm watching it right now, and it is fascinating!!!

    It is 7:12 PM in Berlin right now, so they are running a bit late, as it was supposed to happen at 6:45 PM German time.

    July 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. TONY

    This has to be one of the best moment in my life time...A well respected American being respected by the world and some people can't stand it? why? Majority of the world is good honest and educated and only few give us all bad name...why can't we be proud that a fellow American is welcomed even out side USA....Why? I gues some are just used to bush being slapped around.

    July 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. strong

    Nothing but more "obamahype".

    After all these months, I still for the life of me don't see what people see in Obama? Where is all this charisma and charm that he exudes? I don't see it and I don't get it. To me, Obama is cold and aloof !

    July 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Rick

    Europeans support Obama? Another reason not to vote for him.

    July 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Monica

    Yay OBAMA!!

    I'm so proud to be an american right now! Obama gives me hope in a brighter years ahead for husband in Iraq and my children's future.


    PS – John McCain, if you're going to make the case for judgment, then you lost. How many WMD's did we find in Iraq?!?! The Pentagon released a report showing that Suddam Hussein had no relations with Al Qaeda, in fact, he was in opposition to them! My husband has been there for 4 tours because of your misjudgment!!

    OBAMA for PRESIDENT 2008!!
    Proud Citizen of the USA

    July 24, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. one nation under god!!!!

    Its funny every country he has visited with exception of Israel,with all these cheering crowds are the same countries that either cheered or didnt shed any tears on 9/11.Kind of makes you think.But all of obamas supporters arnt known as thinkers.

    July 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    I'm watching the live video on CNN and this is just awesome. Wonder if Senator McCain could draw a crowd like this? I bet he wishes he had never counted down the days since Senator Obama has been overseas. I already know many will say that the majority of these people can't vote but just think of what having Obama as President could do for the impression that they have of America.

    July 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Georgia Girl

    Wow...the more i read about Obama's trip in Europe and how he was recieved the more I completely adore him. I just hope he comes back well..He will restore dignity back to America.

    July 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Obama/Hillary 08

    Obama experience will get US ahead again in the world.
    He is the man for the job; the best one. you get experience by doing a job with this say neither McCain or Obama have been president before so none of them have that experience. This nonsense that Obama has no experience need to stop because Mccain has none as well. United States of America for Barack Obama

    July 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. AB

    Obama : a man that will change history a man that will bring us peace and unity! I voted for hillary because it was great to have the posibility of a female president but now am voting OBAMA all the way. McCain is only the second part of the bush administration.

    OBAMA IS CHANGE! and its already shown. Everyone loves him even our so called enemies are willing to sit down and talk with him.
    Why cant AMERICA see that he is the right choice!

    STOP the racism is not about color is about what this man can give to this country !
    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. LATINA for OBAMA(nj)


    OBAMA 08

    July 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Do Europeans really see America as going it alone on Iraq and the war on terror–or are they willing to let America go it alone to preserve their own political safety and conserve precious human and financial resources?

    Will Obama have the intestinal fortitude to pursue interests Americans by majority feel are global in nature ( Al Qaida, war on terror, security in Iraq, sequestration or limiting of Iran's influence in the mid-east and proliferation of chemical/nuclear weapons) and in the whole worlds best interest?

    It has taken extraordinary guts to go against the prevailing media notion–as he has.

    Will Obama have the personal strength and conviction to follow suit?

    Is he diplomatically savvy enough to get the Europeans on board with helping in the war against radical islamic terror cells and states who sponsor them?

    My 2 cents–NO. He is totally ignorant of the big picture–and his pie in the sky advisors are to.

    July 24, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |


    July 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Don Shannon

    I am a Afro-American, and I support Barack Obama not because he is an Afro- American, but because i truely in my heart believe there is no other candidate sincere about conquering the problems of this country. I John McCain is just as qualified, but his sincerity is in doudt.

    It does not matter to me that Barack Obama is Black, Being Black, or in this case half Black is not one of the qualification for this presidency, and a Black can be just as inefficient as any one else.

    Lets not vote for him because he looks like us, lets vote for him because we think he will make an honest and intelligent effort.

    July 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Never Barak Obama

    Obama, if your going to be our President then take a real hard look at what appeasement can do to the world. America stands for freedom !

    July 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. judy, Wisconsin

    How refreshing to see Obama meeting the German leader (Merkel) and not rubbing her back and acting like a frat boy. This is our chance to gain the world's respect and admiration–we need these people as allies--go Obama and shut up jealous Republican pundits.

    July 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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