How Obama’s Nobel speech played in Washington
For a man who just won the Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama didn’t look all that happy as he strode to the lectern in Oslo. He had that downturned smile that was almost an acknowledgement of all the critics who say the award is premature — especially for a commander-in-chief who has just vowed to send 30,000 more U.S. troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan.
The speech itself didn’t make much of a splash on morning television in Washington. None of the major TV networks carried it live, though CNN did, cutting away from Obama from time to time to show an audience listening attentively, with a few eyelids drooping. But viewers didn’t have many options if they wanted to see the speech as it happened. They could see a blink of Obama sandwiched in between the televised feature stories — Dillie the Deer, a taped interview with first lady Michelle Obama, a duel interview with Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman to promote their new movie.
The Washington Post ran a live feed on its Web site; after the speech ended, there was a story and a photo slide show. The New York Times posted a text of the address. The Drudge Report — a one-stop online gateway for some in Washington — ran two small headlines about the Nobel ceremony (“Obama defends US wars as he accepts peace prize…” and “Norwegians Incensed Over Obama Snubs…”) over the main story. Just after the speech it was “SNOW DRIFTS TO 15FT!” but later it changed to “DEMS TO LIFT DEBT CEILING BY $1.8 TRILLION!”
Before the chattering classes start weighing in on how he did, let’s hear what you think? Was it statesmanlike or disappointing? Or something in between?
Photo credit: REUTERS/John McConnico/Pool (President Barack Obama poses with Nobel Peace Prize medal and certificate, Oslo, December 10, 2009)