Global political observers look at the pair as political soul mates with their shared political beliefs and values. The two leaders also view their ties not merely as political alliance but in term of "friendship". One is even considered the heir apparent of the exiting leader's supposed legacy as the leading global advocate of liberal democracy.
President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sure do look like they have great chemistry and good rapport. But in his last official visit to Europe as America's leader, could Obama be linking arms with Merkel to subtly but clearly "gang up" on President-elect Donald Trump?
The two world leaders while meeting in Germany declared a joint defense of strong American leadership in global security, free trade and combating global warming but both also took special emphasis on warning U.S. against cozying up to Russia, of which both leaders are wary of. It is easy to see that the Russia warning is meant for President-elect Donald Trump no less, who is poised to fix broken ties with Russia and its enigmatic leader Vladimir Putin.
Before facing the international media for their joint press conference, Obama and Merkel also penned a joint op-ed article published in the German weekly Wirtschafts Woche for more transatlantic cooperation on a whole range of issues including free trade, security, climate change and fighting inequity. But while not mentioning Trump's name even once in the entire article, observers say it is obviously a rebuttal to Trump's most populist foreign policy pledges.
It will be recalled that after Trump's amazing upset victory in the election, world leaders led by Russia's Putin rushed to congratulate the next U.S. President and conveyed their enthusiasm in working closely with him. Merkel, however, issued a cooler message- congratulating Trump on one hand but warning him on the other.
Obama expressed his continued optimism on the incoming presidency of Trump, even praising the Republican for his recognition of the importance of NATO. Sounds like some good words for Trump from one of his harshest critics during the fiercely-fought campaign.
Yet when Obama links arms with his political heir apparent in world affairs and issue thinly-veiled threats to a duly democratically-elected leader who's supposed to be their equal and deserves their good wishes and good will since he has not even assumed office yet— the kind words suddenly appear empty. They could very well be nothing but double talk from Obama.