Tales from the Trail

German, U.S. ties strong, never you mind the wild speculation

June 6, 2009

DRESDEN, Germany – Were you under the impression that relations between the United States and Germany have been a bit frosty since President Barack Obama took office?
 
That Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t trust Obama because he went to Germany during his election OBAMA/GERMANYcampaign and cozied up to her opposition?
 
Or that Obama was offended by her refusal to let him deliver his big Berlin speech last year at the Brandenburg Gate, so he returned the snub by refusing to go to Berlin on this trip?
 
Well pish, posh. You’ve clearly been reading wildly speculative media reports.
 
“They are very wild and based on no facts,” Obama told a news conference Friday standing next to Merkel.
 
“The truth of the matter … is that the relationship, not only between our two countries but our two governments, is outstanding,” he added.
 
And Merkel’s assessment? Working with Obama is fun, in an analytical sort of way.
 
“Allow me, if I may, to … say that it’s fun to work together with the American president because very serious, very thorough analytical discussions very often lead us to draw the same conclusions,” she said.
 
Since they get along so well, why did Obama not travel to Berlin on this visit?
 
Simple matter of logistics. He was going to Dresden, going to Buchenwald, traveling to a U.S. air base and had to be in Normandy the following day for D-Day celebrations.
 OBAMA-GERMANY/
“There are only 24 hours in the day. And so there’s nothing to any of that speculation beyond us just trying to fit in what we could do on such a short trip. That’s all that there was,” Obama said.
 
A day after he spoke boldly to the Muslim world in a speech from Cairo, the U.S. president found himself boldly speaking again — this time to journalist speculators.
 
“So stop it. All of you,” he said, drawing titters from the assembled reporters. “I know you have to find something to report on, but we have more than enough problems out there without manufacturing problems.”
 
Speaking of those problems, what about those Guantanamo prisoners Germany had said it would take?
 
“Chancellor Merkel has been very open to discussions with us,” Obama said. “We have not asked her for hard commitments, and she has not given us any hard commitments beyond having a serious discussion about are there ways that we can solve this problem.”
 
Washington submitted a formal request in early May for Germany to take some Guantanamo prisoners.
 
“There are talks going on,” Merkel told the news conference, “and at the very end I am absolutely confident that we will find a common solution.”
 
For more Reuters political news click here.
 
Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Merkel listens to Obama during news conference; Merkel, Obama tour Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) in Dresden)

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I find it hard to believe that that many citizens of Germany really care that much about Obama. Seriously, don’t they have their own lives? He just is not that intriguing.

Posted by lj | Report as abusive
 

“Comrade Obama” is right. The news is manufactured. Reuters, you are guilty too. The planet is dying, civilization is headed to war over resources, drought and famine increase amidst economic collapse and at the same time all news is presented through the myopic window of economic and political consequence. Some news is simply ignored.

I read your one article on Bluefin Tuna collapse. What about Cod, Salmon, Swordfish, Marlin, Halibut perch and all the other natural fisheries and reefs in decline? More to the point, what are the root causes and are governments taking action with regard to the facts or economic and political interests? The Bee colony collapse has not been covered since 2006. What’s the buzz?

Chicago’s Death penalty defense fund is broke. The fund has less than 100 dollars to defend the indigent when charged with crime they can be executed for. Many counties throughout the country do not have adequate funds to pay for independent review of evidence presented in courts examined by over worked state crime lab employees. Mistakes are rampant. False convictions abound. Governors don’t want to sign pardons for exonerated convicts because they are eligible for financial compensation from the state. Yet the U.S. runs around the world telling other nations they must do better regarding human rights. What about the right to liberty and due process?

Less than half of the American children will graduate high school. Of those who go to college less than half will graduate in 6 years. This is a complete failure of our academic system. The reasons are many and the subject material weighty. When is the media going to “weigh” in on this travesty.

Surely all of you can find more important subjects to deserving of resources than the Obama’s date night or Berlusconi’s penchant for parties with young topless women. This reminds me of everyone’s fascination with Bill Clintons oval office activities. Where was the reporting when he signed Graham, Leach, Blighley?

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive
 

obama,s spend plans are considered in germany not to be the best coarse of action to end the economic downturn.in the last recession in the 1980s when europe was faced with massive reduction in steel demand,england started a large dismantlement of plant,but germany just put their plants on hold till demand improved which proved by far the best policy.this seems to be a similar situation, they are using restraint with spending unlike the absolute free for all from obama,s spending.this will result in VW becoming the most dominant auto producer in USA in the future,that is why they are increasing their capacity production over here.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

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