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A Tale of Two Cities

I was not that impressed by Obama's speech yesterday, but I strongly believe that Europe can learn a lot from the inauguration. Take for instance today's German/French celebrations of the Elysée Treaty.

The French parliamentarians and many ministers commemorated the 50th anniversary with their German counterparts in the Bundestag. That's a great gesture. I listened to Lammert and Hollande during my lunch break. It was okay, but rhetorically far from the level of Obama. And I missed the hope and vision thing. My main criticism, however, is the lack of big public celebrations.

That's a sharp contrast to Obama's inauguration yesterday, when close to a million citizens celebrated their democracy, constitution, and the very idea of America. And all that it promises for the future. Despite the dysfunctional politics at the moment and the cold weather.

We got the same cold weather in Berlin and our own dysfunctionalities in Europe, but no party, hope, and vision, although we need that so much for Europe. (BTW: Does any European country have public inaugurations? Coronations don't count, although some folks over here think US inaugurations are like a coronation.)

Beyonce sang the US national anthem at the Capitol yesterday. I wish "Die Prinzen" would perform "Ode to Joy", the Anthem of Europe, in front of the Reichstag today. That's a safe choice. More risky, but also much cooler: Have Peter Fox rap the German anthem at the Brandenburg Gate.


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