Monday, August 4, 2008

Obama Trip Report Card (Part 2)

Of course we couldn't let the Obama-thon World Tour go without analyzing just a little bit... So we officially present to you:

The Obama World Tour Report Card

In the interest of not re-hashing everything that has been on every cable-news channel and news report for the past two weeks this will be a quick strike report card. Quick, clear, and fair. What did Senator Barack Obama want out of his destination, what he got, where that got him, and a Grade. An overall grade is given at the end.


What was the objective: Meet with Palestinian (West Bank) President Abbas
What actually happened: Met with Palestinian delegation, Almost zero coverage of the trip
Problems: Little to no media coverage
Grade: B/D-, Obviously meeting with the embattled Palestinian leadership is a touchy issue so either by having no media coverage purposefully he shielded himself from criticism or he hid the fact that he spoke to both sides about a conflict between both sides...


What was the objective
: Show Europe that as President he would mend the EU-US relationship
What actually happened: 200k show up to listen to his speech at Berlin's Victory Column, he meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Problems: Being hugely popular in Germany doesn't necessarily mean you'll get votes in the US, speaking at a "Victory" Column is a bit premature, the Victory Column is a monument to Germany's military victories.. something the US sorta fought against not too long ago
Grade: B, Obama standing in front of hundreds of thousands of adoring fans, halfway across the world, is a truly empowering image for the Obama camp but also provides video fodder for so many McCain ads


What was the objective: Met with French President Sarkozy
What actually happened: Hold joint press conference, looks very presidential and refuses to criticize Bush directly, Sarkozy calls him a "buddy"
Problems: well.. Sarkozy called him a "buddy", slightly hypocritical to criticize Bush all year long within reach of the global media but then refuse to because you are in France
Grade: B+


What was the objective: Meet with British leaders to strengthen ties to current allies as well as lost ones
What actually happened:
met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, as well as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Conservative opposition leader David Cameron.
Problems: none really.. sort of an easy wind down exercise
Grade: A, smooth as can be with a long-tie ally

What was the objective: Pump up the foreign policy credentials of Obama, a man who although studies international relations does not have a lot of foreign experience outside of his childhood, especially when matched up against McCain
What actually happened: Mixed bag really.. for Democrats, Obama was just affirming what he had; for Republicans, Obama was on a world wide rock star tour
: That Victory Column shot is going to be used over and over again to create the message that Obama is an arrogant rock-star politician who gives one hell of a speech but can't connect to the "average" American
: B, sure it shut down a lot of criticism from the McCain campaign about his 2-year absence from the Middle East and Southeast Asia... but it also affirmed that he is hugely popular world-wide which on the face of it seems good, but the true question is: Is what the world wants also what America should want?

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