Commentary Magazine


Audacity Of Presumption

In between designing a new seal and redecorating the White House, the Obama campaign got the idea they would send their man to the Brandenburg Gate to give an address in the footsteps of Presidents Kennedy and Reagan. It turns out that German officials may not been keen on allowing their historic spot to be used as a prop for Obamamania. (Can you imagine the swooning Obama Frauleins?) We learn from this report:

“The Brandenburg Gate is the most famous and history-rich site in Germany,” the Chancellery source said. In the past, the location has only been used on very special occasions for political speeches by world leaders. And it has been reserved for use only by elected American presidents, not candidates. The decision on whether the Democrat can speak at the location ultimately lies with the Berlin state government,” Der Spiegel reported.

Harrumph. You know, back when Obama was only a Senator, he reminded us that foreign trips were generally a waste of time. (“I know what those trips are like! I’ve been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There’s a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then–you go.”) And really, since he “already passed those [foreign policy] tests” and his opponent has not, he really shouldn’t have to prove his foreign policy bona fides with a summer abroad after graduation–er, nomination.

Better that he spend his time posing for his presidential portrait, pondering his placement on Mt. Rushmore and getting that basketball court put in the White House. (Or in his downtime he can brush up on the military chain of command.)