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Germans Hopeful Of New U.S. Relationship

BRETT NEELY: This is Brett Neely in Germany's capital, Berlin. At a theater in the heart of what used to be communist East Berlin, it was Obamamania all night. The sold-out event was sponsored by Democrats abroad. Many who came were young Germans who couldn't vote. But Stephan Parala(ph) and his friends got a sense of what many American voters went through on Tuesday.

M: We are standing for more than two hours outside, and then we got the tickets to join in here.

NEELY: Parala says he finds Obama refreshing compared to his country's politicians like the German chancellor.

M: If I look at his picture, I mean, well, Angela Merkel would never smile like this, never.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NEELY: Around 4 a.m., while the band tries to keep everyone awake, the screen flashes news of Obama's victory in Ohio. Some of the Germans shout, it's finally over. I wish they mean the Bush administration. It's been a rough eight years for the U.S.-German relationship. Most everyone here says that Obama means a new beginning. Whether that's realistic or not is another matter. Mathias Berkman(ph) thinks his fellow Germans need to be more realistic about the priorities of America's next president.

M: They don't really realize that Obama is going to be an American president and not the next Social Democrat politician of the year.

NEELY: Around five in the morning, it's clear McCain can't win. And although the theater is offering an all-you-can-eat American brunch, most people stand and groggily make their way home. For NPR News, I'm Brett Neely in Berlin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Brett Neely is an editor with NPR's Washington Desk, where he works closely with NPR Member station reporters on political coverage and edits stories about election security and voting rights.
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