Why isn’t President Obama traveling to Germany for Berlin Wall fall anniversary?

Posted by: ST on November 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Fox News reports that the WH is taking heat over our celebrity President’s decision not to attend the 20th anniversary celebration in Germany for the fall of the Berlin Wall:

The president does not plan to travel to Germany to attend the 20th anniversary celebration Monday of the fall of the Berlin Wall, drawing heated criticism from those who say he’s ignoring a shining triumph of American-inspired democracy.

President Obama squeezed in a trip to Copenhagen last month to lobby, unsuccessfully, for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. He plans to travel to Oslo next month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that even Obama has said he does not deserve. And this coming week, he sets out on a weeklong tour of Asia.

But the president does not plan to travel to Germany to attend the 20th anniversary celebration Monday of the fall of the Berlin Wall, drawing heated criticism from those who say he’s ignoring a shining triumph of American-inspired democracy.

“A tragedy,” is how former House Speaker Newt Gingrich described Obama’s absence.

Some question whether the decision not to go was a nod to Russia, with which the Obama administration is trying to mend relations, or just another attempt to play down the perception of the United States as an exceptional superpower.

For its part, the administration is citing a scheduling conflict. The White House says the president simply does not have the time to go, with the trip to Asia starting Wednesday.

“Obviously we have a lot to work on here and we have commitments for an upcoming Asia trip,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday, noting that a “very senior delegation” of U.S. officials would attend.

That delegation is led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who traveled to Berlin Sunday ahead of the festivities — the first stop for the secretary on a trip through Europe and Asia.

National Review’s Rich Lowry was right on in his reaction to the news that Obama would be absent from the anniversary festivities:

“John F. Kennedy famously told Berliners, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’ On the 20th anniversary of the last century’s most stirring triumph of freedom, Obama is telling them, ‘Ich bin beschaftigt’ — i.e., I’m busy,” he wrote. “Obama’s failure to go to Berlin is the most telling nonevent of his presidency. It’s hard to imagine any other American president eschewing the occasion.”

Well, hey – this is what I call a “Me” Presidency. It’s all about O, not the country that elected him President. The fall of the Berlin Wall wasn’t his accomplishment, after all, and at this stage in his presidency there’s nothing to be gained from a visit anywhere near the Berlin Wall – unlike the last time – so why bother?

Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.

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18 Responses to “Why isn’t President Obama traveling to Germany for Berlin Wall fall anniversary?”


  1. NC Cop says:

    He probably doesn’t want to go to Germany to celebrate the defeat of his people. :d

  2. Lorica says:

    NC do you mean the communists or the nazis?? – Lorica

  3. Mikey says:

    Obama doesn’t want to go because for him the defeat of Soviet socialism and the fall of the Iron Curtain were occasions for mourning rather than celebration.

  4. Xrlq says:

    If he can’t make it to Berlin to say “ich bin ein Berliner” one more time, the least he could do is go to Vienna to admit being a Wiener.

  5. forest hunter says:

    You’re assuming they have a clear understanding of history and I’m assuming that if they did, they know/knew it was a good thing, which is as we know, no cause for celebration by any foreigner who hates America so openly.

  6. Larry Sheldon says:

    His side lost.

  7. Ron Russell says:

    The fall of the Berlin wall repersented the fall of a great socialist system, so why would this socialist president honor that fall—-it doesn’t fit his plan.

  8. Doug says:

    If Obama went to Berlin, he would have to give a “shout out” to Ronald Reagan. There is no way he would ever do that.

  9. Lorica says:

    ohhh Nooo Doug, they refuse to acknowledge RR’s contribution to the fall of the Soviet Empire, I mean Soviet Union. They were not an empire, they were a happy collective of states that were held together by military might…..which is the defination of an Empire, excluding the happy that is.

    So anyway, the fall of the Iron Curtain, was all Mikhail’s doing. RR had nothing to do with it what so ever. That is exactly how most of the left look at this event. Heck this morning on the Today show Matt L, even said as much when asking Tom Brokaw a question about how much of this was Gorbbie’s doing. /ralph – Lorica

  10. Carlos says:

    Lorica: Answer to Comment #2: YES!

    To Comment #9: Give it another 10 years and the revisionists will have Gorby as the Good Guy fighting the evil RR to end the viscious empire that the West had established and was signified by the Berlin Wall (that the (West had built). Don’t you remember, it was Gorby who stood at the wall that cold day and asked RR (rhetorically, of course) what the West had to hide?

    Yes, it’s all wonderful that all this history is getting straightened out so fast…

  11. Bill says:

    Because he doesn’t want to upset Russia and hopes by not taking part in the celebration of the fall of one of the most violent dictatorships in history that Putin will love us for it.

  12. Shirley says:

    Did they acknowledge
    Ronald Reagan
    Margaret Thatcher
    Pope John Paul
    for being the architects on the wall being taken down….
    I am a daughter of a Polish immigrant. Poland’s land was chiseled away, the Poles were held down, no religious freedom and Communism shoved down their throats.
    I worry for Americans.

  13. forest hunter says:

    Plus there was no high dollar ice cream shops anywhere nearby, not that the lack of common sense or close proximity ever stopped him before.

  14. Helen says:

    President Medvedev was there so this can’t be just to please Russia. Perhaps President Obama simply doesn’t know the significance of the event. He’s been to Berlin. Why go again?

  15. Great White Rat says:

    A little late to the party, but that’s because of travelling. I happen to be in Europe on business right now (Switzerland). You would not believe (a) how significant an event that was (and still is) to the average European, and (b) how perplexed they are that Obama is giving them the cold shoulder.

    Even overseas, a lot of the glamour has worn off after 10 months of this incompetence.

  16. Carlos says:

    Maybe BO is too low on his BS-o-meter and knew he couldn’t keep that goofy serious face for a full speech there?

    But seriously, folks, the answer is obvious, even to a country boy like me: Duh-1 would not have been the center of attention, and consequently he had to ignore it. There was also no way he could change the subject to himself (he wasn’t that far past snorting at the time), so why even bother?