We all know that Barack Obama's quasi-presidential tour of Europe is aimed more at voters back home than at the good people of the Contintent. But it's instructive to see how Obama's trip has played over there, especially his mega-rally yesterday in Berlin, which reportedly drew 200,000 people. There is clearly, in the foreign press and among Europeans, a favorable recognition of Obama's promise to act less unilaterally than President Bush has. But reviews of Obama's journey, are, predictably, somewhat mixed.
In Germany's Der Spiegel, for example, one finds a mixture of approbation and skepticism.
"For those who witnessed his appearance in Berlin, it is hard to imagine that John McCain has any chance," wrote columnist Gerhard Spörl. "Europe is witnessing the 44th president of the United States during this trip."
But in another piece, entitled, "People of the World, Look at Me," Gregor Peter Schmitz found Obama's address somewhat wanting.
"For days now, his advisors have been warning that Obama is still just a presidential candidate and not the president. As such, he can only speak generally about his vision, and he can't make any concrete policy proposls," he wrote. "But perhaps he also went too far in announcing that this was going to be a `keynote speech on trans-Atlantic' relations."
Le Monde, in Paris, noted that Obama's big European speech "could not have been more successful," describing how the rays of the sun lit Obama's face.
The wittiest take on Obama's trip -- one that will no doubt cause chuckles over at McCain headquarters -- has to be this one, from Gerard Baker, writing in the Times of London. (Hat tip here to Ben Smith.) Baker begins, "And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness."
You get the picture.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.