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From Mania to Mistrust: Europe's Obama Euphoria Wanes - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Europe was ecstatic when Barack Obama got elected, but the enthusiasm has dampened since he took office in January. On the eve of his first visit to Europe as president, some here are wondering how seriously he takes the Continent.

Some skepticism has crept in to European feelings about US President Barack Obama. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the new director of policy planning at the US State Department, was sitting on the stage at a conference on trans-Atlantic relations in Brussels. "Europe has a phone number," she said, and there was a satisfied murmuring of approval among her mainly European audience. Everyone remembers the famous remark by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who complained in the 1970s that he didn't know who to call when he wanted to talk to Europe.

But when the moderator asked Slaughter if she had that number on her, she was evidently caught off guard. "I have three," she replied. The hall erupted into loud laughter.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:14:09 PM EST
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