July 24th, 2008 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Multnomah County

Obama in Berlin: Bigger than Portland


Barack Obama's mega-rally in Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park was finally outdone today in Berlin, where the Democratic presidential candidate addressed a crowd of at least 250,000.(!)

That tops Obama's previous record of an estimated 75,000 at his May 18 Portland appearance. And he didn't even have The Decemberists to help out.

Obama's rhetoric in Berlin also surpassed his Stumptown stump-speech. Using repeated references to the Berlin Airlift, the speech brought Obama's campaign theme of shared sacrifice to the world stage.

Obama made plenty of nods to his American audience, taking several turns at pumping up his own patriotism. But with repeated references to the genocide in Darfur, as well as crises from Zimbabwe to Burma, the speech was more international in outlook than anything he'd be likely to deliver to a mass audience stateside.

That was to be expected. More striking was Obama's repeated call for a "world without nuclear weapons." As in, America's included. He said it twice, though he seemed to backpedal at one point by proposing to merely "reduce arsenals from another era."

What do you think, was this a serious proposal? And to what extent was Obama just playing to the Europeans — as he's been accused lately of bowing to conservative pressures stateside?

Watch all 26 minutes here.
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