680 Miles in Ohio
Andreas Krüger was the featured speaker at ACWA's September 21, 2006, Global Scholars and Speaker Event, Germany in a Globalized World: Opportunities and Challenges for the Partnership Between Germany and the U.S.
Ohio might not rank among the prime destinations for American tourists, but
for people who want to understand the dynamics of U.S. politics during an
election season there is hardly a better place to go. It is also an
important place for German business and trade and a center of history and
culture. After all, Ohio can truly claim to be the first U.S. state which
was not a colony before becoming a state of the Union.
Akron was the perfect start for my four-day whirlwind tour through the state
of Ohio. The Akron Council on World Affairs not only gave me a very warm
welcome but also provided me with the opportunity to meet with young
students from two schools and experienced members of the business and the
academic communities of Akron. I truly enjoyed the discussions with the
high-school students. I was struck by by their extensive knowledge of
Germany and by their curiosity and interest.
It was a pleasure to talk to the Council members and engage in a discussion
about the transatlantic relationship. The morning's session with the Akron
Business Community was very valuable to me. I learned a lot about the
economic challenges and opportunities of the region, and we explored
possible fields of further cooperation.
My time with the Akron Council on World Affairs was the beginning of two and
a half more days in Ohio. I
had very informative meetings with operatives of the Democratic and the
Republican campaigns in Columbus. I learned much more from them than from
hours of think-tank sessions in Washington D.C. I also visited the State
House. During the weekend, I also visited Cincinnati, Lebanon, Mansfield,
and, of course, Cleveland.
If I have one regret, it is that the visit was too short. It would be great
to meet the same students and friends from the Akron Council on World
Affairs again and continue our dialogue. Ohio has much to offer in terms of
politics, economics, and culture. But its greatest asset is the people, and
I have to thank the Akron Council on World affairs for providing that
wonderful chance to meet some of them. It will definetly not be my last time