Barack Obama, the man most Europeans would like to see elected the next US president, plans to visit Berlin, Paris and London soon. The Democratic candidate is looking for statesmanlike images to boost his campaign and German politicians will be hoping some of his popularity rubs off on them.
Most Germans usually prefer Democrats over Republicans, but conservative US presidents tend to be better for Germany, opines Thomas Speckmann, a regular op-ed contributor for various German newspapers and magazines. He also points out that greater German military involvement will be expected, regardless of who is elected. See his op-ed on Atlantic-community.org.
Speckmann is not the only pundit going against the mainstream opinion in his home country: Parag Khanna from the New America foundation argues that despite the Irish no vote, the EU will lead the world on security, trade and climate change. The EU is setting standards for other regions around the world. Thus this will be Europe's Century.