The Campaign Spot

Obama Completes ‘Campaign Event’ in Germany

Chuck Todd, a moment ago on MSNBC, discussing Obama’s recently concluded “town-hall meeting” in Germany: “It struck me as another Obama campaign event . . . It’s a different kind of campaign event, but it’s a campaign event. He’s campaigning to use his popularity with the European public to get them to get their governments to help more in places like Afghanistan.”

I mean it when I say, “good luck, Mr. President.” But it’s a tough hill to climb, and I think it might take more than a town hall and a charm offensive to change European minds:

A poll published in Germany on Wednesday showed almost 60% support for a pullout of the country’s troops from Afghanistan just over a week before a key North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit.

Just 36% of those polled by the Forsa institute in the survey commissioned by Cicero magazine were in favor of Germany’s roughly 3,500 troops staying, while 58% want them to come home.

Time and again, polls show a majority of Europeans don’t just oppose sending more troops, but that they want to abandon the mission entirely:

A BBC-commissioned ComRes poll showed that 60 percent of Britons don’t believe their leaders have made the case for keeping troops in the war-torn country. Just over a third of those polled said they were “fairly” or “very convinced” by their government’s arguments for staying there.

President Bush made a convenient scapegoat for those who didn’t want to recognize the fundamentally pacifist stance of most European publics.

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