Thursday, December 10, 2009

Well, after all, why would The Annointed One

be worrying about time with a mere king?
“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'll point out that we CAN say no to a king; that's one of the things about this country getting started in the first place; doesn't change that to be actively rude or dismissive this way in a diplomatic context, without damn good reason, is foolish.

Oh, and keeping your word is very important to most people here, too; you just happened to give the Nobel to a politician who considers 'truth' to be whatever he wants, and his word to be malleable so as to fit whatever he sees as the current conditions.

That may have something to do with Obama’s uncharacteristic shunning of the press. Whereas other prize winners have viewed the standard Nobel Peace Prize CNN interview as an opportunity to address the world for a full hour, Obama seems unwilling to answer any questions at all. There will be no press conference, just a statement from the president.

“It’s very strange that he is unwilling to meet the press,” said Marie Simonsen, political editor at Dagbladet, one of Norway’s biggest daily newspapers. “I’m very disappointed. You get the impression he is not proud of the prize.”

I think he may consider it his due, not a true prize. But in any case, if he's taking questions at a conference he'll have to answer them. And he doesn't want to.

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