That headline sounds like the premise of an even-more-terrible-than-usual Tom Friedman column, but it’s for real. Watch Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg — apparently without a security detail because, c’mon, it’s Norway — cruise around town for a little bubble-escaping face time with voters. The idea here, I guess, was to chat with the public about their policy concerns in an unguarded way, without them realizing who they were talking to — sort of the ultimate episode of “Undercover Boss.” But that’s not how it plays out. Everyone recognizes him, seemingly very quickly, and then it’s just giggles and awkward small talk for the duration. It’s basically a gentle prank, but Stoltenberg comes off as so likably goofy and unassuming (even though the joke is built on his celebrity) that I’m tempted to call it one of the best campaign commercials I’ve ever seen. Normally I’d dismiss the fact that all of his passengers seem to like him as a bit of editing sleight of hand, but I don’t know. This may be legit.
If Weiner really is making a documentary/reality show out of his campaign, this needs to be next. Except, given the inevitable tenor of the chitchat, they’d have to run it as a new episode of “Taxicab Confessions.”