TAKE THAT, NORWAY! - AT 7:46 A.M. ET: Someone, in one of those Washington briefings, probably whispered to President Obama that Norway is, more or less, an ally. How else could we explain his snobbish treatment of the country where he's about to receive the Nobel Prize? Today Norway, tomorrow, oh, Italy?
OSLO (AFP) – A majority of Norwegians consider "impolite" US President Barack Obama's decision to snub parts of the official Nobel Peace Prize programme in Oslo this week, a poll showed on Wednesday.
Obama, who will formally receive the award at a ceremony at Oslo's City Hall on Thursday, will limit his attendance at the normally-scheduled events to a strict minimum.
Maybe he understands just what that prize is worth. How would you like to be on a list of "winners" that contains so many losers, like Al Gore, Jimmah Carter, Yasir Arafat, and the guy who ran the UN's nuclear watchdog agency? What was his name again?
Faced with two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the fallout of the economic crisis, the US leader has declined the traditional lunch with the king of Norway, and, unlike previous laureates, will not hold a press conference nor attend the Nobel concert held in his honour the day after the prize ceremony.
Norway has a king? How could Barack know? How do you address him? "Your blondeness?"
Press conference? Too much chance for an embarrassing question like, "Do you really think you deserve this?"
Concert? Yeah, right. I'm sure Barack digs that kind of music.
According to a poll conducted by the InFact institute and published in daily Verdens Gang (VG), 44 percent of 1,000 people surveyed said it was "impolite" of Obama to not lunch with the king, while 34 percent said it was okay.
More than half, 53 percent, said it was "impolite" not to attend the Nobel concert, while 27 percent disagreed.
Obama is due to arrive in Oslo on Thursday morning and will leave Friday morning, staying in the Norwegian capital less than 24 hours. The official Nobel programme is usually spread out over three days.
COMMENT: Another country visited, another country snubbed. The Obama outreach goes on. If this were Tehran, he'd attend the concert.
December 9, 2009