Friday, December 11, 2009

A real rube abroad

Some are impressed by the fact that President Obama proclaimed himself to be unworthy of the Noble Peace Prize in his acceptance speech (but not too unworthy to accept it or is he not worthy of being so unworthy that he would have had to refuse it?), others are cheering or in the case of the New York Times showing unease at his robust defence of the war against terror.

The most interesting story of the day was picked up by Glenn Reynolds on Instapundit several hours ago and is now being aired by AP News as well. It seems that once again President Obama, the man who was billed as the sophisticate who would make the world forget the rube Bush, has behaved with the sort of rudeness one expects … well … from a cowboy and a rube.
Obama had quite a whirlwind day Thursday — he signed the Nobel guest book, huddled with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, met with King Harald V and Queen Sonja, and delivered an acceptance speech after he was formally presented with the prize. He also joined the king and queen at an evening banquet.

But he skipped several other activities, including lunch with the king, a news conference at Oslo's Grand Hotel, CNN's traditional interview with the prize winner and a "Save the Children" benefit concert, where organizers replaced him with an Obama cardboard cutout. Obama also won't be around for Friday's Nobel Concert.

Obama blamed his schedule. "I still have a lot of work to do back in Washington, D.C., before the year is done," he said during an appearance with Stoltenberg. The president's quick visit also reflected a White House that saw little value in trumpeting an honor for peace just days after Obama announced he was sending more troops off to war.
The White House and the President also, one must assume saw little value in being courteous to Norway and its King and people. After all, what does he get out of it? He already has the Peace Prize. Nothing more is needed.

Or as the Daily Beast puts it:
A day before President Obama receives his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the president’s treatment of his Norwegian hosts has become hot news across Scandinavia.

News outlets across the region are calling Obama arrogant for slashing some of the prize winners’ traditional duties from his schedule. “Everybody wants to visit the Peace Center except Obama,” sniped the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, amid reports the president would snub his own exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center. “A bit
arrogant—a bit bad,” proclaimed another Aftenposten headline.

Also among the dissed, according to news reports: a concert in Oslo on Friday that was arranged in his honor, and a group of Norwegian children who had planned to meet Obama in front of City Hall.

“The American president is acting like an elephant in a porcelain shop,” said Norwegian public-relations expert Rune Morck-Wergeland. “In Norwegian culture, it’s very important to keep an agreement. We’re religious about that, and Obama’s actions have been clumsy. You just don’t say no to an invitation from a European king. Maybe Obama’s advisers are not very educated about European culture, but he is coming off as rude, even if he doesn’t mean to.”
I can quite understand why President Obama might not want to waste any time looking an exhibition about his own achievements – he knows better than anyone how thin those are. But as to whether he means to be rude or not, one remains doubtful. After all, this is not the first time he has behaved like a rube abroad.

Remember the time he decided to chill out with his family instead of accepting an invitation to a dinner during a state visit to Russia, a visit that he appeared to confuse with a family holiday? And the time he decided to go on a romantic night out with the First Lady in Paris instead of a formal dinner with the French President who was his host during another state visit that this sophisticate confused with a family outing?

Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds reports two interesting stories: from Hot Air we hear that the Norwegians have decided to substitute a cardboard cut-out at one of the concerts the new Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is missing (picked up by AP as well); and 44 per cent Americans would like Bush back as President. That’s nothing serious – presidents always look better when they are gone. The interesting point is the one he quotes from the forum on Ann Althouse’s blog, which is an acquired taste, in my opinion:
I think the point of the comparison is this: Bush endured 8 years of wall-to-wall, 24/7 liberal bashing from multiple networks. Meanwhile, Obama was coronated and has enjoyed wall-to-wall adoration from the same multiple networks. If Obama's numbers, 11 months in, already approach Bush's after EIGHT years, then, baby, you've got serious problems.
I must admit I did expect that famed honeymoon to last for a year or so but then even I did not expect Obama to be so crass in everything he did. What am I admitting to here?


  1. As happens so often, a lot of Europeans are unwilling to recognize that they made a mistake. Obama's gaucherie was inadvertent, but this cannot be. Remember that Europe coronated him as the ultimate in intelligence and sophistication. People who have those characteristics do not make such errors. Therefore, the actions were deliberate.
    Once again, Europeans have been caught by their own arrogance and narrow-mindedness. Gloat!

  2. Not sure what coronated means though I have noted its use on American blogs. Whatever the Europeans, by which you mean the European media and, in this case, five Norwegians, may have done but please do not forget: it is Americans who elected Obama. What Europeans may or may not think is irrelevant. And it is primarily Americans who suffer. Comments like that make even me feel a good deal of schadenfreude.

  3. This is a man with the emotional development of an adolescent. He surrounds with people, who in a properly functioning republic,would be in jail. A look at his memoir gives the gameaway,since,even if he didn't write it, it carries his name. What comes out is complete self-absorption and worse,INGRATITUDE.
    I, must admit,though, I didn't think he would be so stupid.

  4. Lucky for everyone he is so transparently inept, however the people who put him there (not the voters) are the big threat. G Soros is like a Bond baddie, the bastard stole 6 years of my life when he crashed the pound and devalued the Tories, nothing is too bad for him.

  5. I see, Chris. So it was all Soros's fault? Nothing to do with the government getting us into the ERM and keeping us there against all economic advice? Interesting. And Obama being President has nothing to do with the people who voted for him? You do live in a strange world.

  6. Hi Helen,

    Great post thank you for putting together this developement regarding our dear leader over here on the other side of the pond. I believe that Victor David Hanson has put it all together for us succintly in this post from Pajamas Media. Read and enjoy or sigh as I have done. November 2010 is going to shake the Democrats back to reality. We are a Centrist country not a leftist country.