Senator Barack Obama has been accused of showing arrogance and inexperience in foreign affairs over his bid to speak at Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate.
American officials said the row set off by his choice of the location was undermining his efforts to portray himself as an astute decision maker despite his thin foreign policy track record.
They said it has also demonstrated the type of insensitivity to US allies that his campaign says has been a hallmark of the George W Bush administration.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has clearly expressed her displeasure with the idea, saying the monument where Ronald Reagan famously exhorted the Soviet Union to "tear down" the Berlin wall should not be used for "electioneering" by the Democratic Party's nominee.
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