View Full Version : Obama in Germany - An Opportunist?
07-31-2008, 02:22 PM
I'm seeing a lot grumbling on the right wing blogs that Obama took advantage of a couple of free concerts in Berlin and became the half-time show; that the crowds weren't there for him, but rather for the free music. Any truth to this?
07-31-2008, 03:23 PM
Opportunist? No. Looks like it was planned.
++ Pop Concert for Obama Fans ++
6:33 p.m.: The tens of thousands of Obama fans are being entertained as they await the senator. The reggae musician Patrice kicked things off, followed by the rock band Reamonn.
So the bands were there before Obama showed. The crowd could have left after that. What's more, reading the link above, seems there were around 100,000 estimated when Obama arrived (and the bands were done) and it swelled to 200,000 estimated by the end of it all.
Apparently the crowd also cheered him when he arrived and chanted "Yes we can" as he took the podium.
In all I'd say the Germans there meant to listen to Obama else they would have wandered away as soon as a politician took the stage.
07-31-2008, 03:43 PM
There was some music while people were waiting. Obama was scheduled for 7 p.m. (actually appeared at 7:21) They started admitting people at 4:00 when a DJ started playing recorded music. At 5:30 there was the first of two live acts, Patrice. At 6:20 there was the second one, Reamonn. All this was organized by Obama's people, not a pre-existing event. Of course it's hard to prove who came for the music and who came for the speech but usually a bit over an hour of b-list reggae and pop-rock on short notice and with heightened security does not draw a crowd of hundreds of thousands. In addition to that most people, especially those outside the inner high-security perimeter arrived relatively late. It's hard to get good numbers but e.g. at 6:20 when the second band started and an hour before the actual speech one website reported "over 20 000" people.
R. P. McMurphy
07-31-2008, 06:16 PM
Reminds me of an anecdote in David Lamb's book "Vietnam Now":
When Fidel Castro came to visit Vietnam the "communist" government bused in people from rural areas to make the scene of giving Fidel a welcome. When Putin came to visit there was hardly even a ripple of interest. When Bill Clinton came to visit the Vietnamese people were lined up six deep on the road from the airport to downtown Hanoi.
Many people in foreign countries admire the United States and want to look to it for inspiration and leadership. Unfortunately, lately we've given them little of either. Obama can draw the people. He doesn't need to buy the attention. The right wing talking heads can't stomach that and will say anything to minimize his impact.
It's called "sour grapes".
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