Obama's Image Appears on German Posters to Support Merkel Campaign

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and former U.S. President Barack Obama / Getty
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and former U.S. President Barack Obama / Getty
September 12, 2017

Former President Barack Obama's face is back on the campaign trail, this time in Germany, where his image is being used on posters to promote the reelection of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The image is the same one that was used in Obama's iconic 2008 "Hope" campaign poster, but now it is colored in with Germany’s flag colors of red, black, and gold. The image is accompanied by the logo for Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Washington Post reported.

A Merkel ally, who is running for Parliament in Berlin, made the decision to feature Obama in the German election campaign. The unusual move reflects Obama's special status in Germany, according to the Post.

During Obama's last overseas trip of his presidency in November 2016, he made an impromptu endorsement of Merkel.

"If I were German and I had a vote, I’d support her," Obama said alongside Merkel at a news conference in Berlin. "I don’t know if that helps or hurts."

At the time Obama left office, 86 percent of Germans said that they trusted him to do the right thing in global affairs, only 11 percent trust President Donald Trump to do the same, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Tom Cywinski, one of the CDU activists who made the decision to feature Obama on the posters, said the reminder of Obama’s support could help Merkel win-over some wavering, young voters.

"Obama moved people to become engaged in politics with his slogan ‘yes we can,’" Cywinski said. "He’s the right face, especially in time of populism."

The posters are also a slap-in-the-face to Trump, CDU candidate Thomas Heilmann said.

"This is a nice way of saying, ‘we prefer the former one,’" Heilmann said. "This is how we’d like to see America as a nation, compared to what Trump is doing."

Merkel, however, doesn’t necessarily need Obama’s help to gain reelection, according to the Post. The majority of German voters appear to agree with the former U.S. president in supporting the chancellor, who has served in the position since 2005.

With the Sept. 24 election approaching, and polls showing the CDU on track for victory, Merkel is predicted to serve a fourth term.

Germany does not have term limits for its chancellor.