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Obama and Merkel – friends or enemies?

4 Jul

Yesterday, Ina told us a lot about the reltionship between Obama and Merkel. Today, I want to show you how they work together these days. Actually, their relationship does not seem to be the warmest and kindliest. The German media presents their relation as difficult – it is said that they might be heading towards a crisis.

A lot of German newspapers describe the relationship between Obama and Merkel as more cold than warm and affectionate. Their political persuasions seem to be too different to make friends out of Obama and Merkel. There are various political topics where they have completely opposite opinions. For example, the depression and how it should be handled.

Friends or Enemies?

When I look at the headings of the latest online newspaper articles, it is clear to me, that Obama and Merkel have continuing differences. More than once, it is stated that they are heading towards a crisis. In front of the public they are insisting on a good cooperation – of course. But it cannnot be ignored that they are also disputing via newspapers and even via telephone.

What they definetely have in common: They are more popular in foreign countries than in their own state. In my opinion, this is an interesting fact. Maybe Angela Merkel’s online campaign for the elections 2009 was not that successful as she wanted it to. Germans seem to like appealing and charming politicians, but if someone tries to imitate another success, as Merkel maybe did, it might not always be a good idea. Merkel is not the typical person to open up to the public and behave charming and appealing. Probably, the Germans are aware of that and do not believe in her being a character as Obama is.

All in all, it seems to be a difficult endeavor for Merkel and Obama to ameliorate their political relationship because their opinions of how a president or chancellor should act are very different. I hope that they will manage to talk about their differences and keep the relations between Germany and the US cordially to guarantee a safe world policy.

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Congratulations (in front of the camera!)

3 Jul

Now, I am going to consider the election of Merkel and Obama in 2008 and 2009 from another perspective, namely how Merkel commented on Obama’s election victory and vice versa. I think for a comparison between Merkel and Obama and the question “if Angie learned from Obama” it is also important to know what the concerned politicians say about each other and also of course what they say to each other. But we have to keep in mind that what you say about a person does not always have to be what you think about him or her! Most notably not in public life!


Did you know that Obama have already known  during the campaign that Angela Merkel would win the election in 2009? At least he said so – to Angela Merkel in June 2009 when she has been on a visit in the USA.

“Ah, you’ve already won. I don’t know what you always worry about”

This short sentence has been recorded by ZDF accidentely when Obama and Merkel were passing by the camera. If you listen closely, you can hear it in this short youtube video.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Merkels opponent and his party, the SPD, have been very annoyed by this “prophetic” statement of Obama and Steinmeier even cancelled a planned trip to Washington after this incident.

A nice stroke of Obama towards Merkel, not that nice towards Steinmeier. But did that also mean that he really wanted her to win? I think that’s another question. And I am sure he would have never said it if he had known a camera had been recording them.

After all and needless to say, he congratulated Merkel officially for her election victory. To my mind in a very standard way how you can see here:

So now it is a bit surprising that Merkel had not shown similar reactions before Obama has won the America election in 2008. In an article I have read that  Merkel had shown obvious sympathy for Hillary Clinton ahead of the election campaigning. Furthermore, during the campaign, she did not allow Obama a campaign appereance in Germany in front of the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin. It is asserted that she said that it would be “overweening” to “run” the American election campaign in front of the symbol of the German division.

But of course Merkel also congratulated Obama, actually on the homepage of the Federal Government. On Obamas first visit in Germany in his term in office, the german BILD describes that Merkel and also Obama seem to make every effort to show that they are on good terms with each other. “Is Merkel now also a Obama-Fan?”, asks BILD.

Another article says that Merkel seems to be

” impressed, but not faszinated”.

Maybe this precisely describes  her attitude. We  already know that Obama is more the open and entertaining person while Merkel is the more serious and rigid person – liberal and conservative, which words could describe them better. But nevertheless, they seem to know how to arrange on their roles and their relationship, at least in public. To my mind this is the most important point. One can’t expect all politicians that have to work and decide together to be best friends, maybe this would even be less productive and successfull.