Phillips: Swooning over Princess Obama
Melanie Phillips on the perfect fantasy politician: Swooning over Princess Obama.
On both sides of the Atlantic the media are swooning over him. Like Berlin and Paris, he is expected to receive a rapturous reception here.
Labour MPs are urging Gordon Brown to emulate him, while a third of Tory MPs are said to support him rather than his Republican opponent, John McCain.
The U.S. election may not take place until November, but in Europe Obama has already won by a landslide.
Nor does he do anything to disabuse people of the view that he is ‘the One’. He is going to win the war in Iraq. He’s going to break the deadlock in the Middle East.
In the U.S., he declared his presidency would be seen as ‘the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal’.
Doubtless as the water recedes he will walk on it. His tour is supposed to be merely a fact-finding exercise for an election candidate — but it is being treated as a cross between a coronation and the Second Coming.
So at the risk of being a party pooper, may I pose the question: might not a junior senator with less than four years’ experience on Capitol Hill be advised to show just a smidgen of humility?
Significantly, on his first foreign foray he has achieved the feat of upsetting one of his country’s key allies, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.
She took a decidedly dim view of his intention to hold an electioneering rally today at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate — traditionally used as a backdrop only for non-partisan speeches of global significance. Faced with this rebuff, Obama chose the city’s Victory Column as an alternative venue.
How darkly ironic that the column was moved to its present position by Adolf Hitler as a symbol of Germany’s superiority and its victories against Denmark, Austria and France. Oh, dear. Is this what Obama means by ‘change we can believe in’?