Based on journalist reports for the President's speech in Berlin.....there were probably around 5,000 Germans at the Brandenburg Gate. A dramatic difference from five years ago....when around 200,000 Germans showed up to hear him speak.
The cause? It's hard to say. It was in the middle of the week. It was awful hot....even Germans have limits when it's around 32C (roughly 90 degrees). Germans may have lost their passion for his speeches. And this recent episode with the NSA stuff....it probably didn't help.
The glare off the protective glass? Very obvious. I'm guessing it heated up his stage area by five degrees.
The nuke talk? Well....you'd have to get that deal past Congress and the Senate.....and neither appear very willing to make it a top-ten issue. If you went out to a thousand Americans today and asked them to rate problems....the nuke weapon thing would be around issue number two hundred. In most states....it might even be rated lower than fighting tick infestations or library closures.
The sales job on the Germans for nukes? It would have been great talk in 1988. The Greens would have loved this discussion, and a good portion of the liberal side of German politics would have gotten all peppy. Today? I doubt if one German out of ten would say much on the issue. Most would rate their worries about nuclear warfare down near the worries over the autobahn speeds, funny smells from the Mainz streets, or the cost of using a toilet on the autobahn.
So it's done. The chance of another visit in the remaining three years? Zero. This trip and crowd attendance pretty much guarantees it. Germans may have hated George Bush....but they've come to just wink at President Obama and not take much of his talk that serious.