Tales from the Trail

No one like a wife to keep even a peace laureate honest

December 10, 2009

NOBEL-OBAMA/

Cheering crowds greeted U.S. President Barack Obama in Norway as he received one of the world’s great honors but at least one person was there to ensure that the pomp and circumstance of winning the Nobel Peace Prize did not go to his head.

When her husband, who is not only president but a best-selling author, wrote seven lines of text in the guest book at the Nobel Institute on Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama asked if he were writing a book, and then commented as she prepared to write her entry: “Mine won’t be as long.”

Obama joshed gently back: ”She will resist writing something sarcastic since this will be recorded for the future.”

When asked what he wrote in the guest book, Obama said he had congratulated the Nobel Committee for work done not just for peace “but to give voice to the voiceless and oppressed around the world.”

By tradition, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient visits the institute to sign the guest book and meet the selection committee.

Obama accepted the Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo nine days after ordering 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to break the momentum of the Taliban.  In his acceptance speech, Obama said the United States must uphold moral standards when waging wars that are necessary and justified.

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Picture credit: U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle acknowledge well-wishers from the balcony of the Grand Hotel in Oslo before attending the Nobel banquet December 10, 2009. Earlier in the day, Obama accepted the Nobel Prize for Peace. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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