However, now comes word that:
"I don’t think the fact that large numbers of people gather to hear a speech makes it a campaign speech,” an aide said. “The substance of what he addresses is what’s important. And what he is addressing has nothing to do with campaigns. It has to do with his view of where we are today in the world.”
“It is not going to be a political speech,” said a senior foreign policy adviser, who spoke to reporters on background. “When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.
“But he is not president of the United States,” a reporter reminded the adviser.
“He is going to talk about the issues as an individual … not as a candidate, but as an individual, as a senator,” the adviser added.
Sen. Barack Obama has scrapped plans to visit wounded members of the armed forces in Germany as part of his overseas trip, a decision his campaign said was made because the Democratic presidential candidate thought it would be inappropriate on a campaign-funded journey.So essentially it was okay for Obama to speak in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators in Berlin because he was speaking "not as a candidate, but as an individual, as a senator". However, he couldn't possibly visit wounded US soldiers in Germany because he was touring the country as a candidate, not as an individual or a US senator, thus visiting US soldiers would be perceived as a campaign gimmick. Sigh....
"Senator Obama did not want to have a trip to see our wounded warriors perceived as a campaign event when his visit was to show his appreciation for our troops and decided instead not to go."
An Obama spokesman said the stop was canceled because Obama decided "it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign."
In truth, Obama has complete control over the media, and he manages to keep the press pool out of his proximity whenever he so desires. [Just ask Andrea Mitchell.] He could have easily visited the troops without all the media fanfare.
Just another bit of hypocrisy from the Obama camp.
Meanwhile the McCain campaign immediately criticized the move.
"Barack Obama is wrong. It is never inappropriate to visit our men and women in the military," said Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the Republican contender.