Last night, on ZDF (channel 2 on state-run German TV)....they finally had an interview with the US ambassador to Germany. It was a seven-minute chat....five or six questions thrown at Ambassador John B. Emerson.
To be honest, I think the ambassador did little to nothing to calm the nerves of most Germans. He came off in a very friendly manner and went through various points of how the US intends to get to the bottom of this recent NSA event.
The ZDF guy? He needled in on the ambassador.....after the comment was made that the embassy served the American and German people. The commentator came quickly back and asked if NSA folks were on the embassy staff. That was a question that the ambassador didn't want to answer.
Who is Ambassador Emerson? Well....to be honest...he's not a professional-type ambassador. This job is like forty other ambassador jobs....given only to political appointees, not real State Department folks.
Emerson served throughout the 1990s as a political connection to the Clinton campaign efforts. He's an investment banker. The only two topics that he can talk greatly on.....politics and banking operations. In this case, he's in pretty deep to various topics that require a great deal of discretion and competence.
My humble guess is that the administration finally has realized the degree of this screw-up with NSA and the Germans. Maybe for the next week....various interviews will occur and someone will try to explain how this was wrongly understood. The problem is.....Germans just aren't buying into innocence.
Maybe if Bill Clinton showed up and waltzed around Germany for a month.....telling old jokes and speaking volumes on the evil Republicans.....maybe something could shift to the positive. Right now? I just wouldn't bet on this mess clearing up soon, and possibly getting worse.