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From 'less than' to 'greater than:' Obama and Merkel and their partnership

Gone but not forgotten: such is the status of two major leaders of the western world, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

They worked together well, guiding their countries through the minefield of 21st Century global politics, giving support when it was appropriate, and criticism when it was needed. And they reached their lofty positions from "less-than" beginnings: Obama was the first Black American president, Merkel the first former East German to lead the unified Germany.

Claudia Clark tells the story in Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel. We get a sketch in a visit with the author.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.