THE SHADOW PRESIDENCY.
THE GUARDIAN: Trump debuts in Europe as Obama returns to stir nostalgia for the old days
Coinciding visits, although unintentional, serve to highlight Europe’s radically different view of the incumbent president and his ‘painfully missed’ predecessor
Jon Henley, Kate Connolly and Julian Borger
Wednesday 24 May 2017 17.03 BST
While apparently unintentional, the coinciding visits serve to highlight Europe’s radically different view of the two men. A Pew Research Center survey last June found 77% of Europeans had confidence in Obama – and 9% in the man who has now succeeded him.
The contrast will come into sharp focus on Thursday, when the current and former presidents have parallel public engagements in Europe, providing a split-screen comparison between their extreme differences. [...]
Obama will deliver a speech alongside German chancellor Angela Merkel at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. The Obama Foundation says the invitation from Merkel came before the US election, so the fact that he is in Europe as the same time as Trump is pure coincidence. [...]
Trump’s deepening domestic travails, meanwhile, contrast with steady progress on EU defense cooperation and an improving eurozone economy, which have left Europe in a more bullish mood.
It will welcome Obama – who after Berlin visits Edinburgh to address philanthropy and business leaders – with nostalgic warmth.