I wrote down the following observations as I watched on TV the live Town Hall meeting President Obama had with University students in Strasbourg, France on April 3, 2009.
In the Town hall meeting in Strasbourg with students from many universities and colleges, Obama established himself as a world leader who will listen and engage the Europeans and rest of the world as equal partners in moving towards the future.
French, German, Hungarian, and even American university students were in the audience asking questions. President Obama was comfortable and confident in the exchange. There was clearly a lot of affection shown towards the American President by the students. In the last question, a student told Obama that his name meant “Peach” in Hungarian.
Obama emphasized that one of the gifts of youth is that youth is unburdened by biases of the past.
Obama’s initial talk was peppered with complimentary references to leaders of other countries and their insights. He called the French President a “good friend”. He referred to the Prime Minister of India as a “good and wise man”.
Obama also talked about countries like India and China and stated that as these countries grow, they will become bigger markets for U.S. and European goods. Comfortable in speaking with the European students, Obama said that Americans needed to change their perspective on Europe and Europe needed to do the same in order to forge a new partnership for the 21st century.
Obama seems destined to become one of the most popular American President in history, all around the world.