American presidential candidate, Barack Obama, has captured the fancy and delight of millions of Europeans as he makes a first swing through the continent. He will arrive in Germany on Thursday where he will be greeted by enthusiastic supporters, given the latest polls indicate he leads John McCain in popularity in the European nation by a margin of 70% to 10%. The Democratic nominee has captured the imagination of Europeans in a manner to what they felt about John F. Kennedy. Europe seeks new leadership to deal with the myriad of issues ranging from terrorism to economics to integration of immigrants to creating a new society. They are turning westward in search of someone who can provide a new sense of purpose to a tired world.
Obama apparently has decided German Chancellor Angela Merkel offers the best hope of being the European leader with whom he can work in forging new alliances. His failure to include Great Britain and France in his itinerary has upset their leaders who feel slighted and ignored. However, Obama believes Germany must play a key role in providing greater support for the Afghanistan mess which will require additional troops in the coming years.
All “hopes of the world” eventually hit solid ground and encounter reality. Obama will discover there is little interest among German leaders in assuming an important role in Afghanistan. Most probably he eventually will discover the source of troops lies elsewhere in nations like France and the UK.