July 28, 2008


Bad in Berlin, Perfect in Paris ( (Roger Cohen, 7/28/08, NY Times)

[B]erlin is not his stage. After J.F.K.’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” and Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Obama could not invoke the new in a setting so replete with cold-war ghosts.

Everything was wrong: a Victory Column setting when he’s not yet victorious, a jejune weave from fighting Communism to fighting terrorism, and an accumulation of worthy platitudes. Presence was absence: the semiotics of yesterday’s world cascaded from America’s Homo Novus.

“This,” Obama told nuclear-energy hating Berliners, “is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.”

Yes, Barack, and let us build lovely castles in the sky that the locusts of infamy will never unravel. [...]

Paris is more his town and it showed.

...a guy who looks out of place in front of a victory column and at home in France. Maybe he could go windsurfing with John Kerry....

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 28, 2008 12:12 PM

Well, I suppose that the next "eight to ten years" will be fun with the Messiah in the White House.

Posted by: Peter at July 28, 2008 2:17 PM

a world where the oceans rise

I thought the oceans receded after he clinched the nomination a month ago.

Posted by: ic at July 28, 2008 3:56 PM

So Gallup, which had Obama +9 a day or two ago, now has McCain +4? Talk about credibility straining results

Posted by: AWW at July 28, 2008 7:24 PM

One is registered voters, the other is likely voters.

Posted by: Gideon7 at July 28, 2008 9:01 PM

Homo Novus? New Man?

One would think that Mr. Cohen wouldn't use such language describing someone giving a speech in Germany.

Posted by: Mikey at July 29, 2008 7:16 AM
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