Obama’s Berlin speech echoes Democratic victory address
BERLIN – White House hopeful Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin urging Europeans to do more to help confront global security threats included some echoes of another Obama speech: the one he gave on June 3 when he clinched the Democratic nomination.
Addressing more than 200,000 people in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, Obama pressed Europe to stand with the United States in helping to stabilize Afghanistan and send a “direct” message to Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions.
“This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets,” Obama said. “This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East.”
Celebrating his victory in the hard-fought battle for the Democratic nomination, Obama used the “this is the moment” line as he talked of moving past the policies of President George W. Bush and tackling issues such as ending the Iraq war and tackling global climate change.
“America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past,” Obama told 17,000 cheering supporters in a St. Paul hockey arena.
The echoes of the victory speech underscored the importance Obama placed on his Berlin remarks delivered during his weeklong tour of the Middle East and Europe on a trip meant to bolster his standing on foreign policy issues.Obama’s Republican rival in the November election, John McCain, contends the Illinois senator is too inexperienced to lead on foreign policy.McCain and other Republicans have criticized Obama’s decision give a large outdoor speech in Germany, saying it had the aura of a campaign rally.
But Obama’s aides believe the speech — and its somewhat tough message of urging Europe to shoulder more responsibility — will convey an impression of foreign policy heft.
Photo credit: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke (Obama speaks before the Victory Column in Tiergarten Park in Berlin)