Der Kandidat
Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for this welcome and Theodor Heuss for building this bridge, which gives us shelter from the rain.

I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen - a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world. And let me also reach out to the people in the forgotten corners of this universe, the people living on Mars, Jupiter and Venus.

I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city. Nein, ick bin kein Berliner. The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father - my grandfather - was a cook, a domestic servant to the British. And his father - my great grandfather - was even older than him.

At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, that his yearning - his dream - required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life. Nobody had told him however that in the United States of America it was forbidden to drink alcohol in public, that there was no public transportation and that everybody called McDonald's a "restaurant".

Well anyway. That is why I'm here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life. And some of you may be here, because the beer is really cheap and you can drink it in public.

Here in Berlin, where a wall came down and a continent came together, history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one. On the other hand, as we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and the erste FC Nürnberg has to play soccer in a league which is called Zweite Bundesliga.

No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them. So I ask you, will we give meaning to the words "zweite Liga, nie mehr, nie mehr, nie mehr" for the Club Fan in the heart of Southern Germany?

People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time. And it is also time to introduce to you Oskar, a dog that already helped my father herd goats in Kenya. He has prepared a little poem, which is really nice and his yearning is, to present it to you, the citizens of Berlin. Please welcome my dog OSKAR:

So, wau, hallo. Ja, mein Herrchen war ja so nett und hat mich schon angekündigt. Ich bin also sein Hund Oskar. Und ich habe den Vorteil, dass ich deutsch spreche. Für heute Abend habe ich in der Tat ein kleines Gedicht vorbereitet, das ich Ihnen, den Bürgern von Berlin gerne vortragen möchte. Es heißt:

Oskar und die Berliner Rede
Ihr räudigen Berliner,
ihr Hunde dieser Welt,
seid mit mir stolz, dass einer
wie ich hier heute bellt.

Mein Vater war ein Rüde,
sein Fell war dunkelbraun.
Er lebte voller Sehnsucht
hinter ‘nem Gartenzaun.

Die Mauern und die Zäune,
die er gesehen hat,
kennt ihr gewiss am besten
als Hunde dieser Stadt.

Das Beinchen dort zu heben,
wo man gerade mag,
von dieser Freiheit träumte
mein Vater jeden Tag.

Der Traum ging in Erfüllung
und das nicht nur für ihn,
auch ihr könnt heute pinkeln
in West- und Ost-Berlin.

Die Grenzen sind gefallen,
die Welt ist nun global:
Afghane, Irish Setter,
Malteser, ganz egal.

Es geht nicht mehr um Rasse
und nicht um Religion.
Denn jeder weiß, dass neue
Gefahrenherde drohn.

Wir lassen unsre Umwelt
noch vor die Hunde gehn.
Und Kampfhundterroristen
muss man zu häufig sehn.

Wir brauchen Hundefutter
für wirklich wenig Geld
und große Hundehütten
für alle in der Welt.

Dies gilt für alle Hunde
auf jedem Kontinent!

Ach noch was: Ich wär sicher
ein Super-Präsident.
© Axel Horndasch