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Thu Apr 4, 2019, 05:39 PM

Barack Obama comes to the German Rheinland. Were we there? Ya think?

My wife and I just got back (it is 11:30 PM here). This is from the thread where a few asked for a report.

Obama was his usual cool self, but the event was weird trending toward downright uncomfortable. It was not an evening of political speakers, but of motivational speakers. I'm betting Obama will be furious with whoever of his staff booked him into this. It was an evening of "motivational" speakers, and the organizers were straight out of movies and TV series about boiler room bosses who whipped their phone salesmen into a frenzy, selling worthless stock or non-existent real estate. After the first three speakers, Obama came on, and we left as soon as he was done. He didn't give a speech, but was not interrupted during his interview answers.

One of organizers WAS an experienced interviewer, a German who had interviewed Obama during his first presidential campaign 11 years ago, and had even worked on his campaign. He conducted the interview in near-flawless English. In the beginning, much of it was about the transit from POTUS to private citizen. Obama said he finally got to sleep again, and that his family life got wonderful again.

He noted that there is always WAY more compromise than one wants as President. He wanted more out of the Paris climate talks, and was of course not thrilled when Trump (never used Trump's name once--as if he didn't exist) pulled us out of that treaty.

He practically pleaded with today's young generation to get actively involved with climate change and protection. He said no one can leave this to their grandfathers, even if their grandfathers are in Congress. The grandfathers won't be here in 50 years. Today's teenagers will, and they need to demand bold steps NOW, not ten years from now. Implied, but not stated, was that Trump's administration will be of no help. He said the more young people vote, the more chance there is that government will be responsive to that vote. If Jay Inslee is by any chance our nominee next year, I'm betting Obama will get very actively involved.

He said that two separate stories are being told: the "old (implied--Republican)" story that it will always be us versus them.
Or the "new (not all change is bad)" story that the status quo is not necessarily the best for us.

All in all, it was classic Obama, cautiously upbeat, keeping a pragmatic eye on what the situation on the ground really is, and how important it is to tackle it head on as it is, and not how we wish it were.

There were over 15,000 people there, over 95% of them Germans, who obviously miss Obama more than we do. His Kenyan half sister, who had studied in Germany, introduced him in nearly-fluent German. My wife was impressed. He received a short standing ovation when he arrived, and a LOOOONG one when he was finished. The interview was conducted in English, and it was clear that the German interviewer has never worked for CNN or Fox, since after stating his question, he let Obama answer until he was done, not cutting him off once.

A team of professional translators at live-connected computers down in München was typing out simultaneous translations into German as fast as they could, and these showed up on large screens. From their instant reactions to Obama's statements, however, almost all of the audience present seemed to understand English well enough to not need it.

I did not get to say hi this time, but the guy is still MY president.

It is clear that Germany, at least, still considers Barack Obama to be the last legally elected President of the United States.

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Reply Barack Obama comes to the German Rheinland. Were we there? Ya think? (Original post)
DFW Apr 2019 OP
PeeJ52 Apr 2019 #1
DFW Apr 2019 #3
George II Apr 2019 #10
csziggy Apr 2019 #34
George II Apr 2019 #35
Docreed2003 Apr 2019 #2
DFW Apr 2019 #4
hauckeye Apr 2019 #5
DFW Apr 2019 #7
monmouth4 Apr 2019 #6
DFW Apr 2019 #8
monmouth4 Apr 2019 #9
DFW Apr 2019 #29
bigbrother05 Apr 2019 #30
DFW Apr 2019 #36
bigbrother05 Apr 2019 #39
DFW Apr 2019 #41
Laura PourMeADrink Apr 2019 #11
DFW Apr 2019 #18
Dem2theMax Apr 2019 #12
DFW Apr 2019 #19
marlakay Apr 2019 #25
DFW Apr 2019 #26
marlakay Apr 2019 #32
trof Apr 2019 #13
DFW Apr 2019 #24
IndyOp Apr 2019 #14
DFW Apr 2019 #20
Karadeniz Apr 2019 #15
DFW Apr 2019 #21
lunatica Apr 2019 #16
DFW Apr 2019 #23
mountain grammy Apr 2019 #17
DFW Apr 2019 #22
Hekate Apr 2019 #27
DFW Apr 2019 #28
bigbrother05 Apr 2019 #31
MicaelS Apr 2019 #33
DFW Apr 2019 #37
bigbrother05 Apr 2019 #40
rainin Apr 2019 #38
DFW Apr 2019 #42
rainin Apr 2019 #43
DFW Apr 2019 #44
rainin Apr 2019 #45
DFW Apr 2019 #46

Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 05:43 PM

1. Did he lay a wreath on Fred Trump's birthplace?

 

or still looking???

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 05:49 PM

3. No, but it seems to have been misplaced.

I'm sure that as soon as Fred Trump's German birth certificate is found, it won't be long before the location of the place of birth is pinpointed.

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 06:49 PM

10. He's in Germany, not the Bronx!!!

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 09:48 AM

34. I think you mean Frederick Trump, Dolt45's grandfather

Fred Trump, Dolt45's father, was born in the US, I believe in New York City. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Trump

Frederick Trump was the one who made the original family fortune by running brothels during the Gold Rush era. Frederick immigrated at 16, lived with his brother's family (chain migration?!), then went out west to make his fortune. He's the one who went back to Germany for a child bride, returned to NYC where she was not happy, tried to return to Germany and was thrown out of his birth country for avoiding military service, and again returned to NYC. He was born in Kallstadt, Palatinate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Trump

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Response to csziggy (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 10:21 AM

35. trump's father was born in the Bronx. His grandfather dodged the draft (sound familiar?)....

....and was deported back to the US.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 05:48 PM

2. Thanks for the recap DFW!

Much love to you and your lovely wife, as always

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 05:50 PM

4. Thanks Docreed!

Life is always worthwhile as long as she shares hers with me (don't tell her what a raw deal she got!)

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 06:21 PM

5. What city hosted the event?

My husband’s ancestors come from the Rheinland Pfalz

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Response to hauckeye (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 06:23 PM

7. We are somewhat to the north of there

State of Nordrhein-Westfalen.

The event was in Köln (Cologne). We live in an old medieval town just north of Düsseldorf.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 06:22 PM

6. What a wonderful report, so many thanks to you for that. I am green with envy. LOL. n/t

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Response to monmouth4 (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 06:26 PM

8. Even if he's not in office any more

He radiates an aura of calm confidence, an aware, intelligent, knowledgeable American who presents a totally different image of us as a people. That long standing ovation he got at the end was not pre-staged.

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Response to DFW (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 06:31 PM

9. Awesome, and he did have a great relationship with Angela Merkel. Wish he could come back just for

a short while, but alas, that is not to be. Thanks again.

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Response to monmouth4 (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 04:52 AM

29. He said he did plan to meet with Merkel in Berlin after this event

Of course, it was no secret that Obama and Merkel liked working together while he was in office.

Indeed, the only world leader who seemed to NOT like working with Obama was Putin. "You won't let me get away with whatever the hell I feel like getting away with? You crazy American, who do you think you are?"

I don't think Moscow is on his itinerary this trip, either.

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Response to DFW (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 08:36 AM

30. And maybe Bibi

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Response to bigbrother05 (Reply #30)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 12:47 PM

36. Maybe so, but he didn't mention that at all. n/t

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Response to DFW (Reply #36)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 04:14 PM

39. Was including Bibi with Putin as a leader who shied away from Obama

Those two seemed to be the most frosty towards him.

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Response to bigbrother05 (Reply #39)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 07:28 PM

41. Oh, now I get it

There was definitely no love lost between Obama and Netanyahu, another name that was not mentioned last night.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 07:06 PM

11. Thanks. I am so envious of the cool things you get to do.

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:08 AM

18. I'm not sure you would have envied my schedule! Be careful what you ask for.

I had catch-up paperwork all day, had to meet with some people from Holland, run out to get train tickets down to Köln, get back to the house, dash out again in panic to get the train to Köln with my wife, grabbed some Asian fusion dinner in the Köln train station, got a local train back across the bridge over the Rhein, waited in line out in the cold to pick up our tickets, waited in the arena, nearly gagged at the commercial "motivational" crap of the organizers, after Obama grabbed a local train back to Düsseldorf, switched to the local back to our town, ran through the most important email from my head office in Dallas, and then wrote out the OP. I got to bed around 1 A.M. and had to get up again at 5 in order to be at work in Brussels today at 10. I am writing this in the train halfway to the German-Belgian border at 8 AM German time. There is no rest for the weary!

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 07:11 PM

12. Thank you DFW.

It feels reassuring to know that President Obama, (he is still my president too,) is out there in the world, letting people know that there are still sane adults helping to guide the way.

And I love that he is encouraging the younger generations to get out and vote and become involved in changing this world of ours, changing it in a positive way.

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Response to Dem2theMax (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:16 AM

19. I know he is lending a lot of moral support to the concept.

What seems to be less known is that Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton are juggling a number of very active projects to recruit younger people to run for office as Democrats. The crop of newly elected younger Democrats in the House and at the State level is partly their doing, and they are not letting up for next year either. You won't hear either of them tooting their own horn about it, but we have some serious experienced talent on our side since about 18 months ago.

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Response to DFW (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:29 AM

25. Thats great to hear

Always loved Howard wanted to vote for him before the faked scream took him away.

It must be nice to spend so much time overseas and not hear our news. I am spending 3 months in Ireland this summer and looking forward to a summer free from hearing about Trump.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:38 AM

26. Don't count your blessings too early

By the time three months in Ireland are over, you'll be so sick of nonstop Brexit news that you'll welcome a Trump story or two before you're done

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Response to DFW (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 09:22 AM

32. I already have been paying more attention

To that than I would because of where I am going and thinking about borders between regular Ireland and the North.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 07:14 PM

13. I look forward to your posts. Thanks once again.

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Response to trof (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:28 AM

24. Consideing the subject matter

This one was a pleasure to write out!

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 07:33 PM

14. Thank you for the report!! Sorry to hear he got lumped in with the

snake-oil salespeople. I will always think of Barack Obama as the most courageous man alive - serving as President of this nation while being constantly attacked and still wanting nothing more than to make the world better.

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Response to IndyOp (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:17 AM

20. He did make mention of that

He said, in effect, that he had just taken his old job of "community organizer" to a whole new level.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 07:34 PM

15. Thank you! I'd completely forgotten that he was going to Germany and, naturally, our

media hasn't mentioned it, at least not while I was around. Bitte schoen!❤

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:19 AM

21. The US media said nothing about Obama's trip here?

Don't tell me, they were more occupied with Lucy Flores, right?

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 08:27 PM

16. Thanks!

I’m so glad the Obamas are so respected in the world. I love that!

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Response to lunatica (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:24 AM

23. They really are

And it is not just because the guy who followed him is a corrupt, ignorant cretin.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 08:27 PM

17. Thank you, DFW.

Good to hear about President Obama getting out as a reminder of a better America and how good and decent a country we were.
I don’t think the Germans can miss him more than we do.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 02:21 AM

22. I'd give that maybe a tie score

An Indian diplomat once said the office of the American presidency was much too important a post to be left to the American voter to decide. Considering Obama's immediate predecessor and his immediate successor, there is some substance to that statement.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 03:55 AM

27. Thank you ever so much for this report!

He's still my President, too.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 04:41 AM

28. He said he is getting a lot more sleep these days

But much as I wish him a restful time, I wish he were still in the Oval Office instead of the malignant tumor we have now.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 08:56 AM

31. Found a story on DW to share on my FB page

German friends and family Dems will enjoy. Should aggravate my RW relatives, too.

Win-Win

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 09:29 AM

33. I would love to see Obama on SCOTUS.

Do you think he would do it, if the opportunity arose?

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 01:14 PM

37. I know he'd consider it, and he'd be flattered, but I'm not sure he'd want it, though

At any rate, it's not even a topic for speculation until we have a president that would nominate him, and Trump ain't it.

Michelle would have to give her OK, and he'd have to be careful with his speaking engagements. Both he and Clinton left office relatively poor, in that they had no personal fortunes to fall back on like Bush and Cheney. Cheney, of course, took 200,000 Halliburton options at the going rate of $19 for $1 each before becoming VP, then organized the Iraq invasion tailored to Halliburton's needs, and made over $12 million on that one stock option alone when Halliburton went from $19 (when he was inaugurated) to $87 (after the Iraq invasion). It doesn't take a math whiz to calculate this little formula: 200,000 X 87 - 200,000 X (19+1). That's a $13.4 million profit, which leaves $9 million plus even if he DOES pay his capital gains in full. Obama had zero deals like that. As a relatively young former president, I'm sure he'd like to build up a little nest egg before re-entering public service.

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Response to DFW (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 04:24 PM

40. The gift that keeps on giving

As Sec Def under Poppy Bush, Cheney oversaw privatization of much of the military's operational maintenance functions in the late 80's/early 90's. Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, got contracts at lots of locations.

Move forward and Halliburton taps Dick to be CEO until he leaves to be VP and KBR, Brown & Roots successor, gets a huge share of the work supporting W's wars.

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Response to DFW (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 03:29 PM

38. Love the post. I did get hung up on one sentence:

"There were over 15,000 people there, over 95% of them Germans, who obviously miss Obama more than we do."

I miss him A LOT and I'm not alone.

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Response to rainin (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 08:26 PM

42. You are FAR from alone. At this point, I even know some Texas Republicans who feel that way.

But Obama was never argued about here while he was in office like he was back home. When he said "I will not be a perfect President," he was soon harshly criticized by Democrats for precisely his lack of Papal infallibility. The pages of DU were graced with an OP by one prominent poster calling Obama a "piece of shit used car salesman." I have never met anyone here in Germany with anywhere near a comment as vicious as that one.

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Response to DFW (Reply #42)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 10:12 AM

43. I'm sad that happened on DU. My only complaint about Obama was he didn't seem to realize

the republicans weren't going to negotiate in good faith. He seemed to figure this out after about 6 years, but until then, I felt like he tried so hard to be the adult in the room we lost time and McConnell gained advantage. We missed his leadership of the people while he was behind the scenes being the executive. I wonder if the 2010 wave would have happened if we had Obama leading the people more between 2008 and 2010. Of course, I know he's only one person and he was very busy cleaning up Bush's mess. He can't be everywhere.

What I wouldn't give to have him back. We suffered 6 job losses following Bush. The stress of the financial crash had health consequences. I don't know how to survive that again.

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Response to rainin (Reply #43)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 10:31 AM

44. I think the 2010 wave would have happened no matter what.

I think the seeds of 2012 were sewn during the end of Cheneybush's first term and the start of the second one. Cheney must have known after the Iraq invasion failed that 2008 would be a bad year for his party. At the latest, by early 2005, it must have been obvious to him and Rove that after the mess they were leaving, NO Republican was going to win the presidency in 2008. After Howard Dean engineered the Democratic takeover of both the House and the Senate in 2006, their worst fears must have been confirmed.

I think it is already during this time (late 2004-early 2005) that Citizens United (or what was to become Citizen United) was thought up. If they were going to lose the White House in 2008, at least they were going to ensure, by Congressional gridllock, that no Democratic president would be able to pass ANYTHING of substance or appoint any judges for the rest of his term starting January 2, 2011. It must have been obvious to them that Citizens United was so obviously of questionable constitutionality that a few selected stooges would be needed on the Supreme Court to uphold it when it inevitably came before the Court. I am quite convinced that Cheney personally brought up what was to become Citizens United to both Roberts and Alito, making sure they were cool with it as a condition of their being nominated. This was SO diabolical and unprecedented, there was no way we could have conceived of such an action, and I think that is precisely why it succeeded.

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Response to DFW (Reply #44)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 10:41 AM

45. But we watched that whole tea party "movement" gain steam.

It was never a grassroots movement even though the media endlessly covered it like it was. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and their bus tours covered non stop on Fox... the right was throwing everything they had at it, but it grew slowly with seemingly no opposition.

Obama was a force. He could mobilize people like no one else. I don't think he recognized the threat soon enough. Maybe it didn't have to be him personally. What if he had mobilized surrogates like the right does with a cohesive message that countered the tea party?

I watched the tea party happen and felt like my views weren't represented anywhere. The tea party grew, very slowly at first (remember hyped up rallies with only 100 attendees?) and millions of Obama supporters could have squashed them. They had $$$$$, we had numbers.

Of course Citizens United was THE factor. I think we responded slowly to the threat.

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Response to rainin (Reply #45)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 11:20 AM

46. I think we never realized there WAS a threat

Since no one on our side would have dreamed up something that rotten, no one on our side had any notion that our "opposition" would jump at the chance.

For that matter, since denying a president the right to nominate a Supreme Court Justice when there is a vacancy was an unheard of slight to a sitting president, no Democrat dreamed that Obama would be denied the right. NOW we know better, but we still want to believe that they have SOME decency left, when in fact, every time they get the chance, they prove once again that they have none.

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