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WALLACE: First of all, your overview of Obama's trip — did he shore up his credibility as a potential president and commander in chief?
ROVE: I think the short answer to that is we don't know. Every big event like this has plusses and minuses. And there are some things that he did that did shore up his standing.
For example, he was on the same world — he was on the same stage with world leaders. There was the shot of him in the helicopter with Petraeus over Baghdad in the stories. And he clearly dominated the media with his world tour for, you know, more than a week.
He received a semi-endorsement from Maliki of this idea that U.S. troops could be brought out by the — by 2010, though there is a big difference, I think, underneath the surface between Obama's view and Maliki's view.
And finally, he had these huge crowds in Germany. And those were all on the plus side, and that helped him.
On the other hand, he remains against the policy — the surge — that made success in Iraq possible, and I think that's hard to fathom. The dominant photograph of the opening stage of this world tour was him hitting a three-point shot in Afghanistan. I'm not certain that's the best image if you want to say, "I'm a world leader."
He had three tough interviews with Terry Moran, Katie Couric, Gibson — they were all tough interviews. And the crowd was big, but it was in Germany, and he's running for president of the United States, not president of Europe.
And then finally, we had this dust-up over the visit to wounded troops, and there was also sort of a hint of arrogance. They demanded that they be — that he be treated as a — as the occupant of the White House, with White House rules.
And I think, frankly, finally, the speech in Germany, while it was soaring in its rhetoric, was actually, you know, somewhat vacuous. I mean, I'm not certain there was much "there" there. And he's received some criticism in the European press for it.
So on balance, I think, short-term plus, but potentially a long- term — long-term, it might not make that big a difference for him.
WALLACE: I want to go back to the — particularly the reception from the Europeans and that extraordinary crowd in Berlin — 200,000, according to police reports.
Back in 2004, you and other Republicans went after John Kerry as being too continental, too European, in his sensibility. I talked to the Obama camp about that this week, and one of the top strategists said to me that they feel the country is way past 2004 and freedom fries and now would very much welcome European support.