WASHINGTON–A German friend passed along the news Saturday that local sources in Berlin are confirming that the Obama campaign was in contact with city authorities to discuss the possibility of presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) delivering an outdoor address in front of the Brandenburg gate. The thinking is Obama would follow in the footsteps of two very famous Cold War-era speeches of U.S. presidents speaking in Germany: JFK “Ich bin ein Berliner” and Reagan “tear down this wall.” It would probably be Obama’s only public speech during upcoming visits to Germany, France and England on a swing to include stops in Israel and Jordan. There is still no date for the trip. German news sources are reporting the Obama team is working on a visit during the “second half of this month”.
Spiegel Online International reports that an Obama visit to Berlin his month “looks likely” with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Spiegel Online Excerpt…..
Germany’s ambassador to Washington, Klaus Scharioth, has reportedly worked for weeks to convince Obama’s campaign that the candidate’s only large European appearance should take place in Berlin. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier talked to Obama by phone last April and learned that he might visit Germany. In the meantime, according to SPIEGEL sources, Steinmeier’s staff has set plans in motion for an Obama appearance in the capital by the end of July.
Both Steinmeier and his boss, Chancellor Angela Merkel, have expressed willingness to meet Obama. A member of Obama’s campaign has already met with Berlin’s mayor, Klaus Wowereit, and the Secret Service has reportedly started to investigate security questions surrounding a visit.
No location has been announced, but the Berlin Senate has reportedly been asked whether Obama can speak in front of the Brandenburg Gate, where former US President Ronald Reagan gave a famous speech in 1987. Reagan made a show of asking then-Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall.