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Readers Sceptical Ahead of Obama's Germany Visit

Some readers are surprised at Barack Obama's popularity in Germany. They shared a mixed bag of opinions on his European tour this week.

Barack Obama giving a speech

Obama is to meet with the German chancellor and foreign minister while in Berlin

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

I read your article entitled "Excitement Growing in Germany as Obama Speech Nears" and I was just wondering why so many German citizens are ecstatic over this excuse for a presidential candidate. This man has no real experience in anything other than voting for and against some bills in the US congress and is inarticulate and unaware of the duties which he will be fulfilling as president. He is not a very intelligent person. If he demands change, why isn't he informing anyone of what he will be doing to change things? Will it really be positive change if he gets into the White House? I don't believe so, because all that I can gather is that he will raise taxes and raise so many taxes as to render the American economy as inflating. I don't know why so many German people are excited by the prospect of him becoming President. -- Erik Albrecht , US

Mr. Obama is not president, only the presumptive nominee. Why should he be addressing the citizens of Berlin? He will do the same in France and in England. Will he be making promises or treaties? No. Is he using your country as a way to get attention and to claim foreign experience? Yes. Here in the US Obama changes his stance according to whatever audience he is addressing. Listen carefully to his empty words. -- Carole Weinfurtner , US

Skaters in front of Berlin's Victory Column

Obama will speak Thursday at the Victory Column in Berlin

I believe Germans and countless other people from all over the globe will be very pleased to see the end of the amoral and criminal Bush administration. As an American who once lived in Berlin and in Bonn (not in the military, but as a student), I have very fond memories of the people I met throughout Germany. At that time, the US was looked upon with a favorable eye and I hope that this feeling, this admiration will return when we have elected Senator Obama in November. -- Joan Conroy, US

The world will be watching Germany during Obama's visit. Who is responsible for the Brandenburg Gate? Are visitors allowed to visit the gate? If so, why is Obama's visit different? If the chancellor is not responsible for the Gate then she and her foreign ministry should honorably and honestly stay out of the issue. If Obama is welcomed by the authorities of the city and they want him to visit the gate, why should there be any problem? The interference by the chancellor and foreign ministry shows that they are playing favoritism to their White House friends. They have to prove to the Germans that they are not influenced by the current administration; rather they should listen to the German voices. Moreover, there are other places just as important as the Gate. In my mind, what is most important is the friendly visit to improve understanding between two great nations and two great people. -- Karl Oswa , Nigeria

I am all for Obama but he should not speak at the Brandenburg Gate until he is elected president of the US. Many Germans may be flattered that he wants to make a major speech in Germany but he must find another venue -- which apparently has been found by now. But even the wish to speak there leaves a bad taste in my mouth. -- Reinhard Schumann , Germany

If the Berliners are so enamored with Mr. Obama, then please keep him. Frankly we can't afford his tax policies. -- JR Janaburg, US

It's a mistake that Europe, especially Germany, made in the last election in trying to interfere in our elections and it only encouraged the Republicans and independent parties to unite and defeat the party you wanted elected. Americans don't want you interfering in our political process as I am sure Europeans don't want Americans' opinions in their political processes. Obama may draw huge crowds in Europe but Americans believe he should make his case here, not in Europe. -- Joseph Sampson , US

It's rather silly really that they show more interest in Obama than in more of the important issues at home. -- Jason Knight, Australia

Brandenburg Gate

Chancellor Merkel opposed Obama speaking at the Brandenburg Gate

There is time enough for Senator Obama to speak at the Brandenburg Gate after he is president. This will happen! -- J. Rashidah Salahuddin, US

I suspect the view most Germans have of Barack Obama has little to do with the reality of the man, as do most Americans. Mr. Obama and the US media have so far sold a very carefully constructed image of the candidate to the public in the US and the world at large. I do not expect Germans to see through it, though of all people they should carefully look at all politicians, particularly those who hold large rallies in sports and rock music venues, with carefully controlled statements and images promoting Mr. Obama as leader of "a movement" to "change the world" as he promised in Portland, Oregon to the music of a group called "The Decembrists," who open their shows with the Soviet National Anthem. -- Randolph Phillips, US

There is precedent for socialists speaking next to Brandenburg Gate (mostly on its east side). -- GF Pastorius, US

Germans should be wary of Barack Obama. As most Americans have come to discover, he will literally say anything to anyone at any given time to curry favor. Nobody here even knows where he stands on issues of trade, international intelligence surveillance (i.e. FISA), the nature of troop withdrawals from Iraq, the Second Amendment, the death penalty, etc. He takes both sides of any issue depending on who his audience is. He will doubtless tell Europeans everything they want to here, and they'll cheer him wildly for it. But beware, Deutschland: John F. Kennedy is he not. Rather, a preening opportunist who will throw you all under the bus once your interests become inconvenient for him. Just ask his former pastor of 20 years, or his own white grandmother, for that matter. -- Jeremy , US

I just visited Phantasialand (amusement park) in Bruehl with my little daughter. There is a little, cute Brandenburg Gate there. I suggest that Germany offers Obama to speak at that spot. After all, he is the candidate of "change," since he changes his mind everyday on key issues. So, why not suggest a change of place too? -- Pilar Valenzuela, US

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