What was the purpose of President Obama giving a speech in Berlin at this moment in time? So he did not have to return to the US and the scandals in his administration? To draw attention away from said scandals? Because he cannot pass up an opportunity to hear applause for his beautiful rhetoric? While there are still many questions about the Internal Revenue Service and National Security Agency violating the rights of ordinary Americans, it seems absurd that our president would stay away from DC any longer than necessary.
The Berlin speech itself seemed to have no real purpose either. A large portion was devoted to calling for reductions in the nuclear weapons of both the US and Russia. A lofty goal – but is now the time? Mr. Obama also called for the world to tackle climate change (a huge task, whether human caused or a natural cycle) and end AIDS (this may not be possible even with decades of intense research).
Sure, we would like to fix all the world’s problems. But we cannot do it all at once. There is an old saying, that if you do too many things, you cannot do any of them well. Why did the President feel the need to give a speech outlining a desire to find solutions for a huge range of problems? Given that Berlin was the city where he gave an enthusiastically received speech while a candidate for president in 2008, I can only speculate that Mr. Obama hopes to improve the world’s opinion of him. And if he could actually get a bilateral reduction in nuclear weapons, he might get that legacy he desires. Anything is better than scandal.