It is no exaggeration to say that relations with Europe have been among the most egregious, and most avoidable, failures of George W. Bush’s presidency. It was not just his excessive arrogance over Iraq – although that war served to reinforce European hostility.
It wasn’t just one thing about George W. Bush that disconnected him from his European counterparts. It was Bush’s lack of experience and knowledge of the world outside of the United States, it was his obvious lack of interest in how people outside of America perceived the world, it was his arrogance of not even caring to learn, it was his aggressive language, it was his cowboy manners, it was his general way of thinking and the posture he took that all combined to sever relationships with European leaders.
Because of these reasons this trip to Europe is important for Senator Obama. Obama have rightly identified relations with the populous and national leaders of Europe and the United Kingdom as being very important.
With center-right governments in power in Germany and France, and the Conservatives growing in the U.K. the climate for mending fences between the U.S. and Europe is improving and Obama wants to take advantage of the time and opportunity.
Even though Obama has not been in the U.K. or Europe recently, our cousins across the pond have been keenly watching the 2008 elections and it is Senator Obama who has captured their imagination – other candidates not so much. With his relative youth, his allegorical gifts and the ground-breaking ideas he brings to the table, public opinion polls show that if Europeans had a vote, Barack Obama would be elected President of the United States by 60 points tomorrow.
Even though the decision on November 4 is America’s to make and even though all foreign governments have a duty to observe neutrality in other countries elections, it doesn’t mean that “Obamania” won’t break out in Berlin on Thursday!