Obama's Berlin speech: History raises the stakes

Associated Press SHARE

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — President Barack Obama's 26-hour whirlwind visit to Berlin caps three days of international summitry for the president, and marks his return to a place where he once summoned a throng of 200,000 to share his ambitious vision for American leadership.

Five years later, Obama comes to deliver a highly anticipated speech to a country that's a bit more sober about his aspirations, yet still eager to receive his attention at a time that many Germans feel Europe is no longer a U.S. priority.

Fifty years ago next week, President John F. Kennedy used a speech to a crowd of 450,000 in the then-divided city to denounce the Soviet bloc. Presidents from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton have used Berlin speeches to talk about freedom and international alliances.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.