Don’t take it personally, kids. He’s been snubbing the Brits for almost a year now and they’re bleeding and dying in Afghanistan every day.
Besides, can you blame him? He probably just wanted to stay clear of the death ray.
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…
Meanwhile, the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet is reporting that the president has declined an invitation to lunch with King Harald V, an event every prize winner from the Dalai Lama to Al Gore has attended. (The newspaper’s headline: “Obama disses lunch with King Harald.”)…
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.”
Can you blame him for that either? Only 19 percent in CNN’s new poll say he deserved it. It’s been a punchline following him since the day he won it and an obvious — and intentional — thorn in his side while he weighed whether to escalate in Afghanistan. His own spokesman felt obliged to acknowledge publicly that “he doesn’t belong in the same discussion as Mandela and Mother Teresa.” Why toss more fuel on the fire by hanging around Oslo any longer than he needs to? They tried to co-opt him for their anti-war agenda by anointing him the prince of peace and he didn’t go for it. All he owes them is a polite thanks, a speech, and a smile.
As for why he continues to snub the British, though, that’s a mystery on par with the death ray. Exit quotation: “When the U.S. marches in, it’s only ever the British who can be depended on to march alongside them. And yet all that proud history, all that noble sacrifice, seems to count for nothing in Obama’s eyes. He seems oblivious to the debt of gratitude he, and the American people, owe this country.”