BERLIN: A political fight has broken out in Germany over the much-anticipated visit by Senator Barack Obama, pitting the two parties in the German governing coalition against each other and highlighting the pitfalls for Obama of taking his campaign for president overseas.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democrats, has expressed displeasure at the possibility of Obama's giving a campaign speech at the Brandenburg Gate, according to a spokesman.
"To use the Brandenburg Gate in some ways as a campaign backdrop - she has a limited sympathy for this and expresses her skepticism over pursuing such plans," the spokesman, Thomas Steg, said at a news conference Wednesday. . . .
In some ways, the Illinois senator is a victim of his own popularity. The city has been buzzing about the visit for a week. The presumptive Democratic nominee for president is unusually popular in Germany and could count on drawing a large crowd. The likelihood of a large turnout has brought particular attention to the issue. . . .
Because Obama is only a candidate for president, he runs the risk of appearing presumptuous rather than presidential. . . .