Barack Obama is to visit Berlin on his first trip to Europe since leaving office. The former president will be in Germany on 25 May, the same day his successor, Donald Trump, is due in Brussels for a meeting of NATO leaders, in what is expected to be the incumbent US president’s first foreign trip since taking office.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Far Left operative Barack Obama will be traveling to Germany at the exact same time President Trump will be in Brussels attending the NATO conference. Obama’s plan is to be nipping at Trump’s heels every step of the way deploying his shadow government shenanigans.
Obama will travel to Germany for the launch of a summer of celebratory events organised by the Protestant church to mark its 500th anniversary.
Whether intentional or not, the simultaneous presence of both men on the same continent will serve to underline the difficulty many Europeans have had in dealing with the concept of Trump as US president, and the great deal of nostalgia that exists for the Obama era.
Obama is due to hold a speech in Berlin and to take part in a live discussion with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, titled “Actively shaping democracy – taking responsibility at home and abroad”. They will talk on a purpose-built stage in front of Berlin’s most prominent landmark, the Brandenburg Gate.
Obama’s trip follows his acceptance of an invitation sent last May by the bishop of Bavaria Heinrich Bedford-Strohm. More details about the visit are due to be released at a press conference on Wednesday.
There is some irony in the decision to choose the Brandenburg Gate, which stands as a symbol of the cold war and how it was overcome, as the backdrop for the two politicians’ get-together.
In 2008 Merkel intervened to prevent Obama, then presidential candidate, from holding a speech at the 18th century neoclassical arch, saying she did not think it appropriate for him to use a nonpartisan symbol for electioneering purposes. In the end he was forced to hold his speech at the nearby Victory Column. It was attended by a 100,000-strong crowd and was considered one of the high points of his election campaign. He later got the opportunity to speak at the Brandenburg Gate as president in 2013.
This time round it is Merkel who is facing a tough election herself, in the coming September, and there will be many who see Merkel and Obama’s joint appearance as an attempt by him to endorse her chances of a fourth re-election.
Obama’s enjoys high popularity ratings in Germany, and his declaration during his outgoing visit as president to Berlin in November that “if I were German and I had a vote I’d support her,” carry considerable weight.
At the time of his remarks Merkel had not yet officially announced whether she would be running again. Obama added he did not know if his statement “helps or hurts”. source