Enrico and the brood are staying at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin. Today Barack Hussein Osama is in town to better accentuate his foreign policy steet cred. He’s giving a speech tonight at the Victory Column in the Tiergarten.
Osama was supposedly going to arrive at the Adlon. The security dudes put barriers across the sidewalk on both sides of the hotel’s front door, a crowd gathered, and tv crews appeared. Several german tv stations were running live feeds of the front of the Adlon.
The breathlessly eager anticipation of the crowd was like an electric charge in the air.
We went down to have lunch on the sidewalk terrace, and we got to talking about how Osama should most dramatically make his appearance. I said he should obviously screech into a jstop stop in a red ferrari convertible and bound out of the car without even opening the door, give a careless, wistful smile and dash up the steps into the Hotel Adlon.
Ursula said a crack should groan open in the pavement of Unter den Linden and Barack should climb out amongst tongues of fire and sulphurous smoke
It was proposed that a tomb should materialize, a round stone covering the entrance should be rolled away by a lackey, and Obama should appear dressed in flowing white robes.
Or a lighrning bolt should smite the pavement, and when the smoke clears, there stands Obama.
Then we moved into silly territory. A cataract of water comes pouring through the Brandenburg gate, the crest of the flood bearing Obama, standing astride the backs of four matched dolphins, their reins gathered in one mighty fist, the other hand raised in a princely acknowledgement of the adoring crowd.
Sam suggested that Barack should emerge from a large green pipe protruding from the street. Yeah, I know, I didn’t get it either: he’s talking about Obama joining the mario brothers.
In the end, we saw Obama’s motorcade, but we never saw him at the hotel. Later we went along with 200,000 berliners to the middle of the tiergarten to see him speak.
The crowd tittered at his pronounciations of names like Merkel and Wowereit. But the populace obviously had immense good will for obama. I don’t have much doubt about who this crowd would vote for in november.
Osama originally wanted to give this speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, the site of Ronald Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech in 1987. Angela Merkel’s government was uncomfortable with this, feeling that granting this would be disproportionate to what is, after all, a campaign event. I don’t fault Osama for seeking this, but Merkel was right to steer him in a different direction.
We had to leave to catch our sleeper to Paris before the speech was over. Judging from press reports, it was much what you’d expect. The only important aspects of Obama’s foreign tour are the photos of him with world leaders and in front of iconic foreign symbols, preferably surrounded by an adoring crowd. He certainly accomplished these things in Berlin.
I still intend to vote for obama, but still mainly with the hope that I can facilitate the utter crushing of the GOP, in the hope that the party will reform itself in the ashes of electoral devastation.