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Barack Obama speaks in Berlin -

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Barack Obama speaks in Berlin

Broadcast: 25/07/2008

Reporter: Anne Barker

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama received a rockstar reception in Germany when he
addressed a huge crowd in Berlin. In his speech, Senator Obama appealed to Europeans and Americans
to reinvigorate the Trans-Atlantic alliance in the war against terror.


VIRGINIA TRIOLI, PRESENTER: Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama received a rock-star
reception in Germany when he addressed a huge crowd in Berlin. In his speech, Senator Obama
appealed to Europeans and Americans to reinvigorate the trans-Atlantic alliance in the war against
terror. His overseas tour has stolen much of the limelight from his Republican opponent John

Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER, REPORTER: They began arriving hours before the speech; some even ran to get the best
spot. Top officials, too, made time for the US Democratic candidate: the Chancellor Angela Merkel,
Germany's Foreign Minister and the city's mayor.

200,000 people crammed into a Berlin park to see him.

BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you to the citizens of Berlin.

ANNE BARKER: It's the first time Barack Obama has met ordinary civilians on his week-long world

CROWD MEMBER: I thought it was brilliant. He's my new messiah.

ANNE BARKER: Like a rock star, Barack Obama strode the stage not far from where the Berlin Wall
once stood and with the famous Victory

Column above him. He told the crowd he came as a citizen of the world, not as a Presidential
candidate, but there was a clear political message.

BARACK OBAMA: The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christians and Muslims
and Jews cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

ANNE BARKER: There were clear echoes of two earlier Presidential visits.


RONALD REAGAN, FORMER US PRESIDENT: Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

ANNE BARKER: Obama spoke of the need to rebuild the trans-Atlantic alliance, especially on foreign
issues such as Afghanistan.

BARACK OBAMA: America can't do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops. Our
support and your support to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

ANNE BARKER: He touched, too, on other global issues: climate change, nuclear proliferation and
human rights. But however many thousands turned out in Berlin, Obama was all too mindful that the
real audience was back home watching on television, and they're the ones who'll vote in November.

BARACK OBAMA: I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the
promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes. And there
are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

ANNE BARKER: But did the message make its mark?

BILL SCHNEIDER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: I think there are some Americans who are going to be
put off because he repeated some criticisms of the United States when he was overseas and I think
this may rub them the wrong way.

ANNE BARKER: Obama's visit to Berlin clearly stole some of the spotlight from his Republican rival
John McCain's election campaign back home, so McCain did his best to upstage his younger opponent,
cashing in on the Berlin theme at a German sausage house in Ohio.

JOHN MCCAIN, US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'd love to give a speech in Germany too, a political
speech or a speech that maybe the

German people would be interested in, but I'd much prefer to do it as President of the United

ANNE BARKER: Obama's Berlin speech was the centrepiece in a week-long tour that began in the Middle
East and next takes him to France, where he's hoping for a similar reception.

FRENCH CITIZEN (voiceover translation): I'm French, I'm black, so I'm proud that a black man is a
candidate for the US Presidency.

ANNE BARKER: The Democrats' camp is hoping Obama's world tour will give him the edge over John
McCain on leadership and foreign policy expertise, but in reality, American polls are showing
McCain is gaining ground with 41 per cent of public support to Obama's 44 per cent. 15 per cent are
still undecided.

Anne Barker, Lateline.