Given my penchant for long essayistic posts, I have delayed posting on this notion that popped into my head when pondering Obama’s recent “fact-finding” trip to the Middle East and Europe. I didn’t really have much more to say that to offer a simple observation on his July 24 speech in Berlin. Â
I guess I thought in letting the idea “steep” as I drove across Nevada, Utah and Colorado, something more substantive might come to me. Â Nothing really has.
Given the speed with which bloggers and pundits now react and consider events, offering my thoughts now would be like providing commentary on ancient history, but still the thought has stayed with me (even I can’t build upon it). Â It should figure in my next post on the shifting dynamics in the presidential race in the past two weeks — which has shown a decline in the standing of the presumptive Democratic nominee.
I have read a lot of great commentary on that speech, most of it critical — and not just from conservatives. Should I get a moment, I’ll try to track down and link the most insightful pieces I have read. Perhaps, it was some of those essays which influenced my own observation.
I offer this observation in the form of several questions: If Senator Obama was traveling abroad on a fact-finding mission, what was he doing delivering a campaign-style speech to an audience most of whom could not vote for him? While other presidential candidates have traveled abroad to burnish their diplomatic credentials, has any ever delivered such a speech?
For rhetorical purposes, I rephrase that first question–how does such a speech facilitate the candidate’s fact-finding? What did he expect to learn by delivering it? What did it accomplish?