Obama heating up downtown Kolding ahead of appearance at university event

Locals excited by sightings in the Jutland town

“Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation; Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all; Hail to the Chief, as we pledge co-operation; In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.”

You hear those words and it can only mean one thing: the US president is in town. Well, not quite, as it is in fact former US President Barack Obama, who is participating in an event at the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding as a guest speaker.

Obama, who arrived in Denmark yesterday after attending the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki where he addressed more than 7,000 executives, doesn’t get ‘Hail to the Chief’ anymore. That’s reserved for Trump, although Obama will get a final refrain at his funeral.

Presidential poise in Kolding
Obama arrived in Denmark yesterday, and he has been seen in the centre of Kolding.

“It is not often he comes to Kolding,” observed town resident Johannes Simonsen to DR with what might prove to be the understatement of the year.

“I think most people want a small sneak peek of Obama,” added municipality employee Tina Mensel-Legald in a spooky ‘let’s put him in the zoo’ kind of way. “The kids should have the experience of seeing him.”

Her son Mads was one of them, although he was a little disappointed.

“I saw him sitting in the car looking at his phone,” he said. “But he didn’t raise his hand and wave.”

Students and business community
Obama will meet with students and the business community at the event, which is being hosted in co-operation with Kolding Municipality and Business Kolding.

“One of the world’s most charismatic and important leaders has agreed to visit us. It’s an extraordinary moment for Kolding,” Morten Bjørn Hansen, the head of Business Kolding, told DR in August.

The event will include 200 students and other invited guests, but will be closed to the public.

Obama, who was the US president for eight years until 2017, visited Denmark twice as POTUS – both times in 2009.





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