In Germany, Celebrating the U.S. Presidential Inauguration

Posted by Ruth Bennett / January 22, 2013

Guests at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Berlin watch Beyonce perform the U.S. National Anthem during a live television broadcast of the 57th U.S. Presidential Inauguration, Berlin, Germany, January 21, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Many Germans spent their dinner hour last night watching or listening to President Obama deliver his second inaugural address. We don't yet have the numbers, but precedent would suggest it was a very large crowd. When then-Senator Obama delivered a speech in 2008 against the dramatic backdrop of Berlin's golden Victory Column, he was himself the golden candidate -- more than 200,000 admiring fans turned out to see him, and, after election, his German approval ratings hovered around 93 percent. By the June 2012 Pew Research poll, that approval level had "plummeted" 87 percent.

The surveys have returned consistent data, and their findings are borne out in the German media. German editorial opinion can sometimes be sharp on specific policies -- with the underlying tone of a close friend who feels they have both the right and the obligation to point out to you the… more »

The U.S.-Europe Relationship

Posted by Philip H. Gordon / January 16, 2013

The NATO leaders gather for a group picture upon their arrival for dinner at Soldier Field in Chicago, May 20, 2012. Front row from left are Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Belgium Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, President Barack Obama, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa. Second row from left are Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Iceland's Prime Minister Johanna Siguroardottir, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti. Back row from left are Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, Latvian President Andris Berzins, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Romanian President Traian Basescu, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, and Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic. [AP Photo]

Looking back at the busy and productive year we've had, I would say that the United States and Europe have never been more closely aligned, both in overall goals as well as tactics to achieve those goals. From the beginning of the Obama Administration we've made a deliberate and conscious effort to strengthen our ties with Europe and to work with our most important allies around the world on global issues. During 2012 the pace of our work continued with a multitude of high-level visits, ministerial meetings, summits, and international conferences. Not only did I travel widely for meetings with my counterparts, but 2012 also marked Secretary Clinton's 38th visit to Europe. This intense diplomatic engagement is driven by our profound belief that successful alliances require investment and that such investment pays real… more »

Page 1 of 1 pages