Obama Meeting With Leaders Ahead of Another “Global Citizen Speech”
When past presidents left the White House, they shifted into a lower-profile mode, letting their successor build their own legacies. Former President Barack Obama, however, seems doggedly determined not to follow that path.
He proved that yet again when it was announced he would be appearing in a panel discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany in May to discuss global democratic responsibility.
According to the website of the German Protestant Kirchentag, a conference held by the Evangelical Church in Germany, the former president will be appearing May 25 with the German leader in a conversation called “Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally.”
“President Barack Obama’s attending the Kirchentag in Berlin, which will ring in the Reformation Summer, underlines the international character of our 500th anniversary celebrations,” Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, said in the article. (German monk Martin Luther launched the Protestant Reformation in 1517.)
“The churches form a global civil society network of over two billion Christians. Together, as people of faith, we live from the firm hope for a better world,” he added. “Anyone who is pious also has to be politically minded. I am looking forward to enthusiastic debates during the Reformation Summer 2017.”
The meeting sounds harmless enough until you consider the fractious relationship between Merkel and the Trump administration, as well as the general turn away from the globalism espoused by Obama, both in the United States and abroad.
While most presidents have made public appearances after their presidency, few have couched them so nakedly in the rubric of campaigning. This is a man who comes across as wanting to extend his legacy by meddling in the affairs of the executive office long after he’s left.
It’s no coincidence that the Kirchentag takes place at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin — the same place Obama gave his first major foreign speech as a candidate back in 2008.
“I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for president, but as a citizen — a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world,” Obama said in that speech, according to CNN.
And now, nine years later, he returns — perhaps as a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world, but almost certainly as a man proud of his disintegrating legacy and willing to defend it at all costs.Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter with your thoughts on Obama’s upcoming appearance in Germany.