A show of ingratitude for an undeserved award?

Can anyone tell me what the hell is going on with Barack Obama? I mean, when he was in Saudi Arabia and Japan, he bowed obsequiously before the monarchs, yet in Norway -- which honored him with an undeserved Nobel Prize -- he has snubbed the the king, and nearly everyone else over there. Naturally, Norwegians are outraged:

Norwegians are incensed over what they view as his shabby response to the prize by cutting short his visit.

The White House has cancelled many of the events peace prize laureates traditionally submit to, including a dinner with the Norwegian Nobel committee, a press conference, a television interview, appearances at a children's event promoting peace and a music concert, as well as a visit to an exhibition in his honour at the Nobel peace centre.

He has also turned down a lunch invitation from the King of Norway.

According to a poll published by the daily tabloid VG, 44% of Norwegians believe it was rude of Obama to cancel his scheduled lunch with King Harald, with only 34% saying they believe it was acceptable.

"Of all the things he is cancelling, I think the worst is cancelling the lunch with the king," said Siv Jensen, the leader of the largest party in opposition, the populist Progress party. "This is a central part of our government system. He should respect the monarchy," she told VG.

The issue is not so much whether he should respect Norway's monarchy, so much as it is a bizarre form of inconsistency in the man's behavior. Snubbing the Norwegian king when he was being honored with the country's highest award makes him seem like a pompous ingrate. Yet when he was in Japan and Saudi Arabia, he bowed and scraped like a humble supplicant.

I'm wholly at a loss to explain this. Honestly, the whole thing reminds me of Marlon Brando and George C. Scott snubbing the Academy Awards. (But that's a bad analogy, because at least they earned their respective Oscars.)

If there is some element or subtext that I'm missing, I'm all ears.

(I'd hate to think that he might he be secretly offering a bone to conservatives by treating the Nobel Committee and the Norwegian government with the contempt they deserve for giving him an unearned Nobel, but I suppose anything is possible.)

UPDATE: Via Allahpundit, I see that some of the more enterprising Norwegians were not to be outdone by the no-show president, so they replaced him with a cardboard cutout.

Well, cardboard probably causes less harm.

And wastes fewer trees!

posted by Eric on 12.10.09 at 11:05 AM


I believe he watched the Godfather, and is practicing keeping his friends close but his enemies closer.

At least I hope, then it would mean he is smart, instead of what it looks like: taking allies for granted and grovelling before tyrants.

plutosdad   ·  December 10, 2009 12:27 PM

Just deserts all around.

And for an award so undeserved Obama shouldn't be just bowing. He should be on his knees.

M. Simon   ·  December 10, 2009 1:22 PM

It COULD be racial, you know.

This makes the second European monarch that he has treated shabbily; the first was Queen Elizabeth.

What the Japanese Emperor and the Saudi King have in common is that they are non-white.

Perhaps he harbors some resentment of Europeans (as a whole) for British colonial rule of Kenya?

Oscar   ·  December 10, 2009 2:34 PM

For resembling his mother.

The guy's not complicated.

guy on internet   ·  December 10, 2009 3:07 PM

Barack Obama hates white royalty.

Rhodium Heart   ·  December 10, 2009 5:09 PM


That's something, when the descendants of the Vikings think you rude. I would think that they know "rude".

11B40   ·  December 10, 2009 8:04 PM

I think the racial angle is likely. Just read his first book, Dreams of My Father, Obama no like the honkies.....

John Cunningham   ·  December 10, 2009 10:08 PM

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