X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Obama’s Berlin speech was a damp squib

19 June 2013

5:03 PM

19 June 2013

5:03 PM

Can Barack Obama still pretend to be champion of the liberal dream even though we all know he isn’t? Yes he can! Can a President who rides roughshod over civil liberties, orders illegal drone strikes that kill innocent people, and snoops on citizens still present himself as a harbinger of world peace? Yes he can! Will lefties continue to delude themselves that the man they worshipped as saviour in 2008 is still their man in 2013? Er, maybe not.

Obama-love is not what it was. The man who just spoke against nuclear proliferation at the Brandenburg Gate today is quite obviously not the avatar of progress who appeared before adoring crowds near the same spot in 2008. Today’s much-hyped speech turns out to have been something of a damp squib. Five years ago, 200, 000 Germans came to see him; this year, only five or six thousand turned up. “The crowds weren’t as large or as loving as last time,” reports The Atlantic, with some understatement. The global news machine, for its part, seems more interested in the royal baby than anything the President has to say against nuclear weapons.
The optimism of five years ago has been replaced by cynicism. For many on the left today, Obama has morphed from hero to villain. Mehdi Hasan, for instance, has suggested that, on civil liberties and aspects of foreign policy, Obama may well be worse than George W. Bush — and many Americans on the right and left feel the same way.
And yet and yet, Obama still tries to present himself as a 21st century Camelot. His rhetoric has been toned down: today he looked and sounded more like a dreary American technocrat than a citizen of the world. But he continues to pose as a global dove and utters lofty phrases about creating a “world of peace with justice.” It’s just he sounds like he doesn’t believe it anymore — and, increasingly, neither do we.
Europeans still like him, it’s true. Eighty eight per cent of Germans believe he will ‘do the right thing in the world affairs’. (Only 14 per cent said the same of George W. Bush.) But in America, the presidential approval ratings are fast turning against him — especially in the wake of the latest snooping scandal. In Europe, too, it seems, Obamamania is a distant memory.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close