European Vacation
One of the themes running through last fall’s presidential election was the idea that a Barack Obama victory would go a long way towards improving our relations with European allies, especially our strained ties with France and Germany.  For those of you fervently hoping that “freedom fries” and impromptu presidential backrubs are a thing of the past, you can take heart in the reception Barack and Michelle Obama received upon their arrival in Strasbourg, France earlier today.
At the same time, it is the nature of today’s polarized partisan politics in America that I also immediately thought of the field day that conservative talk radio will have with all of the European excitement surrounding the Obama visit. Rather than serving as a source of pride, this new warmth in relations will inevitably be interpreted up and down the AM radio dial as symptomatic of President Obama’s flirtation with European nationalism, or even worse, socialism. This particular conservative narrative is one I have heard more frequently in recent days than in any other time in my political memory, but for now it doesn’t appear to be spoiling the big party across the pond.

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