Bild Reporter Karina Mössbauer with Jeb Bush, the newest GOP
candidate for president of the United States, in Berlin last week.
the (Perhaps Soon-to-Be) World's Most Powerful Man (Bild, Germany)
suits, managers and organizational bosses have Jeb Bush autograph his photo.
The room is packed. Every seat in the football field-sized room is occupied.
The guests are standing two or three rows deep along the walls. At this point,
security personnel no longer allow people into the room. More than 2,500
participants are present, among them roughly 250 members of the press.
International media like CNBC are on site. … One would think Jeb Bush was
already president - and he hasn't even announced his candidacy. He is expected
to do so on Monday at a college in Miami, Florida. After his father (no. 41)
and his brother (no. 43), he could become the 45th president of the United
His brother is former U.S. President George W. Bush (68),
his father former U.S. President George H.W. Bush
(90) and he, too, has set his sights on the highest office in the world:
president of the United States.
I meet John Ellis "Jeb" Bush at the CDU Economic Council's Business Forum held at the
InterContinental [Hotel] near the Tiergarten in
Berlin. He's sitting in the first row, right in front of the podium: midnight
blue suit, blue tie with burgundy flecks, U.S. flag pin on his lapel, frameless
glasses and a handshake that was not overly firm.
I show him a photo of his father, together with former
Chancellor Helmut Kohl (85) and the former President of the Soviet Union
Mikhail Gorbachev (84). The three politicians are posing in front of three
large pieces of the Berlin Wall in the forecourt of the Axel Springer
Publishing Company. They are the authors of German reunification.
"Where's that?" Bush asks curiously, "When
was this?" He scrutinizes the photograph. "This must have been a
while ago." The photograph was taken in 2009 on the occasion of the 20th
anniversary of the fall of the Wall. Proudly, he shows the photograph to an
interested person next to him.
His behavior underscores what he previously said in his
speech [watch below]: He looks up to his father. "He's the most amazing person I've ever
met," he says. "May I keep this?" he asks sheepishly.
"Sure," I say. He's pleased.
What do you like about Germans, in particular?" I want
to know from him. Bush has to laugh, "I had a great time here." So
does that mean in terms of hospitality? Within seconds, a huge crowd has
gathered around us: photographers, event participants and security people are
fighting for the place in his vicinity.
Men in suits, managers and organizational bosses have Jeb
Bush autograph his photo. The room is packed. Every seat in the football
field-sized room is occupied. The guests are standing two or three rows deep
along the walls. At this point, security personnel no longer allow people into
the room. More than 2,500 participants are present, among them roughly 250
members of the press. International media like CNBC are on site.
One would think Jeb Bush was already president - and he
hasn't even announced his candidacy. He is expected to do so on Monday at a
college in Miami, Florida. After his father (no. 41) and his brother (no. 43),
he could become the 45th president of the United States.
It's his first tour of Europe as a prospective candidate. He
hopes to position himself and improve his foreign policy image. Germany,
Poland, Estonia. After all, applicants for the highest office are expected to
put their foreign policy expertise to the test.
This also showed in his 12-minute speech. He sharply
criticized Putin's conduct in the Ukraine crisis and took a sharp look at
German-American relations, which have been tarnished by the NSA affair. He's in
favor of the TTIP [Trans-Pacific Trade and Investment Partnership] free trade
agreement. For his own country he calls for structural reforms and opposes tax
hikes, which would jeopardize jobs.
"The United States could be the first industrialized
nation to become emerging again," says Bush [41 minutes into the video
above]. His mode of attack has been set. Afterwards, it's clear: He's warming
up for an election campaign.
There was much speculation about whether Angela Merkel (60),
who was expected to attend the event, would try to avoid Jeb Bush.
Posted By Worldmeets.US
The chancellor avoided a similar encounter with Barack Obama
in 2008 – and so none occurred.
No photo. At the
time, the government even ensured that the Democratic candidate wasn't allowed
to speak before the Brandenburg Gate. It was said at the time that this might
have been misinterpreted as an endorsement. One didn't want to intervene in the
Obama at the Victory Column: After All, Isn't That What He's After? (Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany)
When Merkel arrives at the InterContinental at 7pm, however,
she approaches Bush in a relaxed manner, shakes his hand, smiles for the camera
and has a brief chat with him.
Three speeches (Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser,
Estonia President ToomasHendrikIlves and Angela Merkel) remain on the agenda before
the official end of the event. The conclusion is crowned with a live
performance of the German national anthem.
Jeb Bush sticks it out bravely, staying in his front row
seat another hour and a half. However, he makes his escape from the hall after
the musical finale at 8:30 pm. The question asked by a U.S. television
journalist – whether everything in Berlin went according to plan, went
Outside the rear staff entrance a Mercedes bus awaits. He
takes a seat in the front and disappears with his photo into the Berlin