Several of the world’s leading papers focused their news coverage today on the overwhelming response U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has garnered thus far on his tour of Europe. Germany’s Deutsche-Welle says Obama received a welcome the country “usually reserves for rock stars and soccer players.” Der Spiegel says the candidate displayed the full range of his charisma in a moving speech in which he invoked a transatlantic “shared destiny” and promised to restore U.S.-European relations. In a news analysis, the New York Times says Obama’s speech was vague on diplomatic specifics, but says the emotional response his tour has prompted represents Europe’s hope for a “more flexible, less ideological America.”
Today Obama heads to France and Britain. Salon looks at favorable French public opinion of Obama, though the AFP reports his French tour could be “low-key” compared to his reception in Germany. The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, previews his trip to Britain.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Obama’s presumptive opponent in the U.S. general election, has sought an answer to the press response Obama’s tour has prompted. In an interview with FOX News, McCain discussed his differences with Obama on Iraq policy and criticized Obama for making policy statements on Iraq and Afghanistan before actually leaving to visit those countries. The Washington Post says McCain may soon announce his selection for a vice presidential running mate in an attempt to win back media attention.
Meanwhile, pundits questioned whether Obama’s high profile trip would help or hurt him with American voters, particularly as new polls showed McCain gaining ground (LAT) in four potential swing states.
CFR’s Daniel Senor examines Obama’s trip to Iraq and Afghanistan in a new interview.