Subjects: Europe news
Normally, getting Europeans to agree on anything is dicey but right now just about everybody over there is delighted the Big O made it all the way.
His strip-whitened smile blankets TV screens, celebrity magazines and newspapers all over Europe, and large majorities of people in the 5 largest EU countries, ranging from 77% in the UK to an otherworldly 92% in France believe he will have a favorable global impact.
Funny though, the Big O didn’t even mention the word “Europe” in his inaugural address.
And sacre-bleu! It took 3 days before he so much as pinged a European leader, placing every one of them behind those of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan, to name a few.
And then of all things he called Gordon Brown first.
Uh-oh! Did Obama catch Anglophilia from Bush when they shook hands at the swearing-in?
Come to think of it, the Big O dodged a chance to meet the top 5 EU leaders when they rolled in last November for the G20.
And we can only guess how many times he’s turned down requests to visit Germany’s beleaguered Angela Merckel, who is up for re-election and would love to catch some stardust from the man who drew 200K in Berlin last summer.
“Everybody wants the first visit of the Messiah,” a French official wryly remarked to the Economist.
Alas the Big O probably already knows the Europeans will get jiggy when he starts asking for help.
They’re not exactly lining up to take Guantanamo Bay detainees off his hands, are they? They’re not exactly rushing to outfit troops for a summer tour in Afghanistan, are they?
And as for cooperation on the economic crisis, Josef Braml, an officer in Germany’s Council on Foreign Relations managed to splutter that the matter will trigger a “heavy burden-sharing debate” between America and its European allies.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement there, either.