How Obama's foreign tour plays at home
He burnished his foreign policy credentials, analysts say, but will his Berlin speech backfire?
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"I get the impression that he thinks he's already won the election," says Ms. Wolfe, a graphic designer.Skip to next paragraph
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But Gretchen Bunn, also of Denver, isn't so sure that Obama didn't go overboard. "I think he overstepped his bounds and started acting presidential before he's even president," says Ms. Bunn, a saleswoman.
She calls herself a "big supporter" of Obama but thinks the trip makes him look arrogant, a label that his opponents have been trying to make stick to the presumptive Democratic candidate, especially by meeting with heads of state in such an overtly public way.
In Atlanta, Obama did seal the deal with at least some voters. Della Augustine, who is African-American, says Obama's appearance in Berlin removed her reservations. "I was waiting for him to make a blunder and show his inexperience," she says. "But he never did."
In casual conversations in Atlanta's version of Greenwich Village, Little Five Points, many people expressed a high degree of satisfaction with Obama's statesman-like performance as he traversed the continents from Baghdad to Berlin.
But Vince Gray, an aspiring high school history teacher and, on first blush, also a shoo-in Obama supporter, pointed out that the voting booth is a complex sanctuary. In fact, he still can't say for sure who he'll pull the lever for come November.
Yet last week's rare display of European solidarity with a US statesman is likely to be a "make or break" moment in a campaign where undecided US voters may be ready to take cues from European sentiments, says Mr. Gray.
Elizabeth Vantine, a self-described Socialist, says she's known for a while that Obama will be her choice come November. But even she was taken aback by Obama's reception on the Continent. "He had Europe eating out of his hand," she says.
The trip, Ms. Vantine says, showcased that the senator's relative lack of formal foreign policy experience can potentially be supplanted by his personal experiences as a biracial man in America, growing up, she says, "as someone who is neither fish nor fowl, and who had to learn how to use his smile to put out fires."