Barack Obama has dropped plans to use Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate as the backdrop for a speech during his tour of the Middle East and Europe next week. The Presidential hopeful’s Berlin stopover is expected to be one of the highlights. But Chancellor Angela Merkel was unhappy with him “electioneering” at the Gate. So, he will speak at Berlin’s Victory Tower, traditionally used by German sports teams to celebrate tournament success.
Other US politicians have spoken at the Brandenburg Gate, but they were already President. Ronald Reagan called on Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, and Bill Clinton also used it as a backdrop. But it is perhaps most closely-associated with John F Kennedy, and his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963.
Speeches in Europe are standard policy for US Presidential candidates seeking to polish their foreign policy credentials.