The report today that Barack Obama won’t give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate next week in Germany, and instead will speak at Berlin’s Victory Column lends credibility to the speculation last week that the Bush administration was pressuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel to block the speech at the Gate.
After it was reported that the Obama campaign was considering speaking at the historic site where Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton have spoken, a controversy erupted in both countries. German political officials were divided on whether Obama should speak at the site as a candidate. A spokesman for Ms. Merkel said, “The Brandenburg Gate is too important to misuse it for internal American affairs.”
However, it was reported in Germany that a Bush administration offical made it clear to the German government that they did not want Obama to speak at Brandenburg during the G-8 Summit in Japan.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) put out a statement today saying that Obama did not deserve to speak at the Brandenburg Gate, “What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is something you earn. President Ronald Reagan earned the right to speak there because his relentless pressure had brought the Soviet empire to its knees and he was demanding its final “tear down this wall” liquidation…”
It is fascinating that the RNC didn’t bother to mention that Kennedy and Clinton also have spoken there. Apparently, modern presidential history began and ended with their political lord and savior Ronald Reagan. As far as Obama is concerned, I think the decision should be left up to Germany.
It is wrong on so many levels for the Bush administration to exert pressure to prevent Obama from speaking there. For almost eight years we in America have seen that this administration will spy, invade, torture, and do what ever they please, so using the presidency to attempt to influence an election is no surprise. Obama is very popular in Germany, so I don’t think it matters where he speaks. The images that will be sent home will be powerful regardless.