Taking the world stage once again, President Obama attempted to build a global consensus Friday on the need to collectively confront nuclear proliferation, recession, terrorism, poverty and drug trafficking.
Obama spoke first to a large crowd of French and German citizens, many of whom were students, at a town hall-style meeting in Strasbourg, France, ahead of a major NATO summit. He then spoke alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Baden-Baden, Germany.
In his Strasbourg speech, delivered before taking questions from the audience, Obama invoked the slogans of his presidential campaign and stressed U.S.-European unity -- much as he did during his pre-election speech in Berlin over the summer. Whereas many U.S. presidents have strived during their time in office to build a domestic consensus, Obama further demonstrated his commitment to leading a new era of cooperation around the world.
"This is our generation, this is our time and I am confident we can meet any challenges as long as we are together," Obama said.
He drew huge applause when he said he is setting a dramatic goal of "a world without nuclear weapons."
Further underscoring his president-for-all-people image, Obama even apologized for apparently calling on an American by accident to ask the first question.
"I just want to say, I did not call on the American on purpose," Obama said.