Maybe it's me, but I'm still trying to understand the logic of the Obama campaign's European tour. Don't get me wrong, his obligatory trip to the Middle East and Afghanistan in his role as a U.S. senator was justified, if only by the presence of so many of his brave countrymen. But the reasoning behind "Barry Does Europe" escapes me.
It has been suggested that Barack Obama went overseas in order to morph into "presidential" material; that his mere presence on foreign shores would somehow be transformative. That would be like me jetting off to Never-Never-Land in order to become Peter Pan; an excursion that too many Obama backers already seem to have taken. After all, his lost boys have been playing White House make-believe -- designing his presidential seal and getting his transition team ready for the big move -- for months now.
But his supporters loved the tour and the press went gaga as you'd expect, given that they got to spend a few days in Paris, France, rather than Crawford, Texas; a place they've been forced to endure for the last seven years. And in the minds of all Obamamaniacs, that's symbolic of the difference between George W. Bush and their hero. Here's how the unbiased folks at the AP put it:
It's not only Obama's youth, eloquence and energy that have stolen hearts across the Atlantic. For Europeans, there have always been two Americas: one of cynicism, big business and bullying aggression, another of freedom, fairness and nothing-is-impossible dynamism. If President Bush has been seen as the embodiment of that first America, Obama has raised expectations of a chance for the nation to redeem itself in the role that -- at various times through history -- Europe has loved, respected and relied upon.
I hate to break it to the AP, but America's dynamism arose from her embrace of businesses, big and small; her idea of fairness was born of her cynicism toward the tyranny of her European parents; and her aggression against that tyranny has brought freedom to those who, if the press is to be believed, are still ungrateful for it.
But, just as most Europeans have formed their opinion of the U.S. by being force-fed the New York/Los Angeles slants of CNN and the New York Times, we should take with a grain of salt the reports that emanate from those international organs of liberalism that are in communion with their fellow travelers in Paris and Berlin.
We are gleefully told of a poll, for instance, in which Obama was the presidential choice of 52% of a whopping 6,256 Europeans and Russians; as if that should somehow matter to a people whose ancestors fled the intrigue and "foreign entanglements" of Europe to build a nation where success was to be the reward for hard work and not simply bestowed by entitlement.
Not surprisingly, this has resulted in a precipitous drop in polling across the pond where Americans can see that, just like them, European voters have defied their own pollsters by electing center-right leaders like Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi. This trend has flummoxed the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic who bewail the fact that actual voting rights must be afforded to all citizens, even those who cling bitterly to guns and God.
THIS, THEN, IS at the crux of Obama's domestic polling plunge. It may be that many of the coveted Independent voters are put off by a candidate who needs to display his foreign policy bona fides by illusion rather than from any concrete experience, and seeks approval at home via the opinions of foreigners. In any fair and balanced press coverage, this would be known as "being out of touch" with American voters.
Add to this that his incoherent explanations of how the surge in Iraq may or may not be working, but that he would still vote against it, are not very comforting in turbulent times. But don't expect the press -- which has scolded President Bush mercilessly throughout his presidency for never admitting that he was wrong -- to hold his feet to the fire over this or anything else, as it is clearly on board with whatever issues from his sainted mouth.
Also, the lingering concerns over Obama's American flag-pin flap and the infamous photo of his apparent reluctance to reverence our National Anthem were not helped by his reference to himself as a "citizen of the world." The majority of Americans will always be suspicious of any candidate who sides with those who consider us a bunch of rubes and hicks. It's akin to the old saying: I can call my wife whatever I want, but woe betide anyone else who does it.
You would think that liberal Democrats and the kingmakers of the worldwide press would have learned this lesson with John Kerry and his boast that foreign leaders were backing his presidential bid. Luckily for us, they have not. Obama recently said:
It's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is "merci beaucoup."
Thanks to you too, Senator, and many happy returns on Election Day.
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