The Obamagasm shadow

Reading some comments and blog posts, I came across the wonderful word. “Obamagasm

The magic of hope, joy, explosive power, change, challenge, and mystery; all in one word. And although I am not a skeptic, I can’t help but be concerned about what the truth is. Has Obama been groomed to appear to be the best thing that ever happened to this world? Or is he simply a charismatic being who really could be the best thing that ever happened.

Approachable enough, with his blackberry in his hand, a huge smile on his face, and his wife by his side, Obama represents not the ‘American dream’ but the dream of every single person on earth. Happiness, family, wealth, and power. And all that in the context of an evangelist for “Change” – change towards the better.

The Obamagasm felt across the earth, has left us hoping. Hoping for a better tomorrow. But most of all, after a dark era in the international and national scene (of every single country in the world), a financial crisis which is just setting in, and mass business meltdowns; most of all, the Obamagasm has left us praying that he is not a fake.

Child of Europe


Obama Election: EU Reactions

With Obama’s Coronation as the new President of the United States of America, Europe was quick to react. A collection of reactions can be found below:


European Commission:


Commission President José Manuel Barroso this morning made the following statement on the outcome of the US presidential election:

“On behalf of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate Senator Obama on becoming the 44th President of the United States of America.

This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America.

I want to assure Senator Obama of the support of the European Commission and of my personal support in forging this renewed commitment to face together the many challenges ahead of us.

We need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world. I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal. For the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world.”



Javier SOLANA,

EU High Representative for the CFSP, congratulates Barack Obama on his election as President in the United States of America

“I want to congratulate Barack Obama on his impressive election victory. Elections are about political renewal. The campaign has been exciting and uplifting and the turnout impressive.

The sense of renewal also applies to the transatlantic relations. Europeans and Americans are keen to open a new chapter in their relations.

President-elect Obama ran on a ticket of change. This is most welcome since many things in the world today need changing. Let us do that together.

Europe is willing and able to help. There is a high number of very complex global problems: from the Middle-East to Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan, from climate change to nonproliferation. We need to address those problems together with determination and creativity. President-elect Obama personifies what is good and impressive about America. He also personifies today’s complex and globalized world where change is a constant. As we grapple with these problems, it is good to have someone who put change, empathy and good judgement at the heart of his campaign. I am looking forward to working with President Obama and his administration.”

European Parliament:

Hans-Gert Pöttering congratulates the new President of the United States

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, has conveyed his congratulations to the newly-elected President of the United States, Barack Obama, for his great success in these elections.

In his letter congratulating Barack Obama on his election as President of the United States, Hans-Gert Pöttering wishes Barack Obama “every success in the challenging new role which you take on at this critical time’. He says that the result “has proved once again the extraordinarily capacity for renewal which has so often been evident at difficult moments in American history”. He welcomes the opportunity for a fresh start to EU-US relations, putting them on a stronger and more vibrant footing” and looks forward to the US and EU “working together in effective partnership on many of the global issues facing decision-makers in our both continents, for example climate change”.

Hans-Gert Pöttering congratulated Barack Obama in the name of the European Parliament and expressed at the same time an invitation to the new US President to address the European Parliament on an early visit to Europe, possibly in April before the 2009 Nato Summit. “Such a speech would allow you to showcase your approach to transatlantic relations and set out your vision of foreign policy for the years ahead”.
“It would give an excellent message to the people of the European Union if Barack Obama were to make a speech in the European Parliament during his first visit to Europe. This way he could address the almost 500 million citizens of the European Union”.
The last time a US President addressed the European Parliament was when Ronald Reagan spoke in Strasbourg in May 1985.

Barak Obama, a president for a new transatlantic partnership

European Council:

Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament give three cheers to Barack Obama on his well-deserved victory. Senator Obama has redrawn the electoral map, reshaped the debate in American politics and revived hope for America’s future.

“As a candidate, Barack Obama promised to heal the divisions within America and between America and others in the international community: as President his challenge is to make good on those fine words.

The Presidential in-tray is bulging with challenges: the financial crisis, Iraq, Afghanistan and so many more. But in Europe President Obama will find a partner and friend, ready to strengthen the links between the US and the EU and work for common solutions to common problems” said ALDE Leader Graham WATSON.

“This breakthrough also throws the spotlight on Europe’s leaders. As we look around the table at the Council of Ministers and the European Commission we see twenty seven white heads of government, and twenty seven white Commissioners. Which will be the first European country to break our glass ceiling and puts its faith in a leader of colour?”

Alexander Graf LAMBSDORFF: (FDP, Germany) added: “Barack Obama has promised change, now he must deliver. We Europeans are hoping for a change as well, a change of tone in transatlantic relations. The challenges are as manyfold as they are complex: the financial crisis, climate change and peace and security in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East. Barack Obama has promised more consultation, in return, he will look for more contribution from Europeans when it comes to addressing these challenges.”


Obama victory heralds new dawn for EU – US relations

Annemie Neyts, President of ELDR Party declared today: “The European Liberal Democrats welcome Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election and consider it not just a victory for Obama, but for those with liberal democrat beliefs throughout the world. Greeting Obama’s victory, the ELDR Party welcomes the democratic commitment on the fight to strengthen civil rights enforcement and the desire of the new president to fight for pay equality between men and women and encouraging women-owned businesses. For Europeans, however, it is Obama’s desire to strengthen relations between the US and EU that will be particularly important. ”

“As European liberal democrats we have not forgotten the promises Obama made in his speech in Berlin about supporting democratic partners and upholding principles of sovereignty throughout Europe and Eurasia, towards a common idea of democratic progress. We look forward to increased cooperation between the EU and the new US administration. Furthermore, in relation to the conflict between Russia and Georgia, the challenge is to pursue an integrated strategy in the region and to invigorate the Transatlantic Alliance, so that we can work together in a trilateral commitment: US-EU-Russia with a unified voice.”, she stated.


Election d’Obama: “Une puissante et magnifique exigence de changements”


Déclaration de Francis WURTZ,  Président du groupe de la Gauche unitaire européenne – Gauche verte nordique du Parlement européen


Bruxelles, 05/11/08,


Une quarantaine d’années à peine après les durs combats pour les droits civiques, je perçois le mouvement populaire qui vient de porter à la présidence des Etats-Unis, un “Africain-Américain” – comme aime à se présenter Barack Obama – comme un grand et beau moment d’histoire. Et pas que pour les Etats-Unis. Il exprime tout à la fois un profond phénomène de rejet de tout ce qu’a représenté la funeste administration Bush – la guerre, la violence sociale, l’intolérance, l’ultra-conservatisme, la volonté de dominer, et finalement le fiasco intégral et l’isolement international – et une puissante et magnifique exigence de changements. Barack Obama a su incarner cette soif de dignité et ces aspirations à une ère nouvelle. Son éclatante victoire lui confère d’immenses responsabilités.


Les attentes vont, en effet, très au-delà des engagements pris par le candidat démocrate. Tant sur le plan économique et social qu’en matière de politique internationale. En outre, dans le contexte d’une Amérique affaiblie par la crise qui secoue le monde entier, les pressions de Wall Street sur le nouveau Président seront très fortes dans le sens de la reconquête du “leadership” américain.


Cette situation entièrement nouvelle devrait conduire les progressistes européens à relancer une dynamique de coopération avec les progressistes des Etats-Unis pour faire converger leurs efforts en faveur d’objectifs aussi pressants que la démilitarisation des relations internationales; la réforme profonde des règles et des institutions économiques et financières internationales; la mobilisation contre le changement climatique; la lutte contre le racisme et pour les droits humains.


Un nouvel espoir est né. C’est une chance que nul n’a le droit de gâche




Obama vs McCain – Dirty politics… or Just kids having fun

I came across this video on a republic blog. The video portrays youths training and showcasing their I-heart-Obama routine. Lots of blogs have put this up as democrat propaganda, saying Obama is training the youth with a nazi-youth methodology.

Being a European – who doesn’t have much preference, and who politically might even prefer the Republicans, I want to say that this is absolute nonsense. This video is either 10 guys having a laugh, mocking the Obama-is-gonna-change-the-world campaign, or a severe case of Republican dirt war.

Just stating the obvious- does Obama need to train tha black youths of America to vote for him?????
If that was 10 white kids, then we’d have a problem (but we probably wouldn’t believe it was a real video).

People are so polarised that they immediately latch on to any piece of information that could strengthen their side, without screening it to see if it’s possibly real or not. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this increasingly with riddiculous statements about Obama. We’re also expiriencing it a little with Sarah Palin- but I must confess that I have more concern about the remarks that are real than those that are fake on that front…

Enjoy the video

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McCain-Europe relations questionable- Obama perhaps not!

To be honest I don’t quite know where I stand on the Obama-McCain question. But something tells me that when it comes to Europe, it seems Obama is the candidate that will be more… reliable. Having heard what some have described as Obama’s historic Berlin speech, and then having read “McCain’s Spanish Dancing“, i’m not entirely convinced of the Republican candidate’s… European orientation.

When asked whether McCain would be willing to extend an invitation to the Premiere of Spain (mentioned both by name and country), McCain became confused. It actually seems as if he had no clue about Spain…

Portion of the Interview:

Q: Senator, finally, let’s talk about Spain. If you’re elected president, would you be willing to invite President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to the White House, to meet with you?

A: I would be willing to meet with those leaders who are our friends and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion. And by the way, President Calderón of Mexico is fighting a very, very tough fight against the drug cartels. I’m glad we’re now working in cooperation with the Mexican government on the Merida plan, and I intend to move forward with the relations and invite as many of them as I can of those leaders to the White House.

Q: Would that invitation be extended to the Zapatero government? To the president, itself?

A: Uh, I don’t, you know, honestly, I have to look at the relations and the situations and the priorities, but I can assure you: I will establish closer relations with our friends, and I will stand up  to those who want to do harm to the United States of America. I know how to do both.

Q: So, you have to wait and see if he’s willing to, to meet with you, or you be… able to do it? In the White House?

A: Well, again… I, I don’t… All I can tell you is that I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us, and standing up to those who are not, and that’s judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America, and the entire region.

Q: OK, what about Europe? I’m talking about the President of Spain. Are you willing to meet with him, if you’re elected president?

A: I’m willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom. And I will stand up to those that do not.

The authors comments (which seem reasonable) were:

McCain’s reluctance to meet with Zapatero was odd because Spain is a member of NATO and a longtime U.S. ally …

We listened to the McCain interview several times and got the impression that the senator was confused during the first few questions. The interviewer says Zapatero’s name quickly and it seemed to us that McCain did not recognize the name. His answer suggests he is focused on other leaders from Latin America. But the interviewer seems to notice his confusion and reminds him “OK, what about Europe? I’m talking about the president of Spain.”

But McCain’s reply does not suggest that registered with him and he offers a more general reply about meeting with “any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are.”

We would have accepted a McCain-was-confused explanation for this one, but the McCain campaign sent reporters a statement from foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann that said McCain’s answer was intentional.

“The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain’s willingness to meet Zapatero — and id’d him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred. Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview,” Scheunemann said in an e-mail sent to the Washington Post and CNN.

Scheunemann said that if elected, McCain “will meet with a wide range of allies in a wide variety of venues but is not going to spell out scheduling and meeting location specifics in advance.”

So where does that leave us?

Obama is right that McCain “said the other day that he would not meet potentially with the prime minister of Spain.” McCain’s words make that clear and are reinforced by Scheunemann’s statement.

It’s less clear if McCain “wasn’t sure whether (Spain is) aligned with us.”

To us, McCain seemed confused. But Scheunemann’s statement is adamant that McCain knew the subject was Spain. As a result, his comment that “I have to look at the relations and the situations and the priorities” indicates at least some doubt about U.S.-Spanish relations. So we find Obama’s claim to be Mostly True.”






See the clip of Obama’s speech in Berlin for comparison. McCain’s rationale, or ignorance is for this European NOT convincing.

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