President Obama irks Norwegians by skipping in and out of the country in 24 hours.
If you can’t have the real President Obama, a cardboard Obama should do. Right?
President Obama irked a lot of Norwegians on Thursday for not doing the traditional Nobel Peace Prize winner stuff. You know like have lunch with king, participate in a news conference with the Norwegian press, and attend the children’s concert.
The organizers of the event made the best of of it, though, by propping up a cardboard lookalike of the chief executive (we haven't found any photos of the stiffer-than-normal POTUS at the show but we're looking).
I’m just booked
No, it’s not that the president thinks Norwegian children aren’t worth saving (at least he didn’t mention that in his speech). And it has nothing to do with that UFO scare. It’s just that he made a conscious decision to spend less time in Norway. It’s a scheduling thing.
“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 the prime minister this afternoon.
Think of it like a dining experience. You have two options — eat in a restaurant or hit the drive-thru. Obama ordered up his Nobel prize like a combo meal to go.
The in-and-out isn’t sitting well with some of the natives. One poll, published in Norway’s largest newspaper VG, showed that 53 percent of Norwegians believed Obama’s decision to bail on the kids’ concert was “impolite.” As for skipping out on the news conference, 48 percent gave him a thumbs down. When it came to stiffing the king, however, only 44 percent cared.
Another Norwegian newspaper, the Aftenposten, reported similar findings under the headline “Norwegians’ verdict: Obama is impolite.” Aftenposten’s news editor, Jan-Erik Laure, told the BBC that the local sentiment is sour because it cost a lot to host the president.
“I think the impression is that, firstly, we’ve spent a lot of money preparing for this visit and then he should be more visible and be doing things in our country,” he said.
“I think Norwegians also feel let down,” he added. “There is the impression that the cancellation is somewhat because of policy in the US — he doesn’t want to be that much exposed to those who think he shouldn’t have won it, and accuse him of not concentrating enough on internal politics."
And then there’s the Afghanistan war. Surmises the Associated Press: “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.”
Hey, we'll never skip town on you after you give us a medal. But if we do, we'll let you know about it after the fact on Twitter. So follow us!