Wilkommen, and welcome to Berlin! Barack Obama is in in the house and everyone is speaking German to celebrate — especially the Germans, who are all saying " Gluecklich zu sehen!" to their preferred candidate for president (74% and counting!).
Over here, the celebrations start with the headlines, and even though Obama just arrived they've already begun: Headlines making "Ich Bin Ein" jokes. Newsweek's Michael Hirsch was first out of the gate with "Ich bin ein Commander" (saying that this was Obama's Commander-in-Chief test). Then there was Maureen Dowd with "Ich Bin Ein Jet-Setter" (which didn't really have anything to do with her subject matter, which compared Obama's feats to the Labors of Hercules) (though she totally missed a chance to compare the Hillraiser Clintonites to the Stymphalian birds! Also, Hippolyte actually gave Hercules her girdle - HRC wasn't quite that easy. Nitpicking, I know). Then there was HuffPo's own Marty Kaplan with "Ich bin ein Amerikaner" (noting that Obama in Berlin is embodying what America still means to the world — despite the Bush years). Ann Coulter sneered at the "Ich Bin Ein Berlitzer" tour (but oddly, that was it — her column was mostly about dinging McCain — she said she wouldn't have accepted his op-ed, either. The NYT is no doubt relieved at the support). Yesterday in Berlin, Brian Williams marveled via videoblog at the changes since he was there for the Wall-fall of '89 ("Ich Bin Ein Starbucks?") And both Redstate's Robert A. Hahn and cartoonist Michael Ramirez came up with "Ich bin ein Beginner." Clever.
This is, of course, just the beginning — once Obama addresses the throngs of change-loving Germans (or, as Chuck Todd said this morning on MSNBC, "a million David Hasselhoff fans"), tears down that wall between himself and looking like a president and proclaims himself a jelly donut, it'll be all over — the "Ich Bin Ein" headlines will be flying faster than 99 Luftbalons floating in the summer sky. (Am I straining for relevance here? Consider this line: "This is what we've waited for, this is it boys, this is war — the president is on the line..." Ooh. Nena was prescient!).
All of this is by way of making my own "Ich Bin Ein" joke, because German jokes are fun, and if you don't agree, then you're obviously afflicted with Welschmertz. Cheer up, young Werther! The president is on the line, and he can smell chaaaange in the air. So, apparently, can 74% of Germans.
Ich bin ein - how do you say it? [Concord Monitor]
Germans Love David Hasselhoff [SNL Transcripts]
Courtesy of Time. The alternative headline for this piece was obviously "99 Obama Balloons Go By."
Germans Love David Hasselhoff (hat tip: Chuck Todd/First Read)
"99 Luftbalons" (Nena)