In complete and total fairness to President Obama, he did not ask to win the Nobel Peace Prize. While the pundits debate whether the prize is a curse or a blessing, most commentators on Friday evening public TV agreed that he frankly didn't need the prize on his plate right now.
The Daily Beast gives us seven white men of various political persuasions, plus The Daily Beast aggregator voice, analyzing the win. Presumably they will cover most aspects of the honor, from an American point of view.
Even I see the award as pressure on POTUS from the Nobel Committee, not only about American military might around the world but also about environmental action in Copenhagen. You know -- Copenhagen in December 2009?
Environmental action means a lot to Europeans and our friends in Sydney and New Zealand, too. Actually, China's on board, with comparatively strong initiatives.
Of all people -- the American big-business community agrees that soon it's "do or die" on the environment. They insist on factoring the risk of inaction into stock prices going forward, if new rules somehow bind them to a longer-term view of business success, rather than a short-term payout.
So the Repubs will focus on Oslo 'neutering' POTUS from using our big guns around the world, but the Norwegians are also very committed to environmental action.
Whoever twittered that announcing President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize award five minutes before NASA bombed the moon yesterday morning, had a great sense of irony in his reasons for not supporting the award.
A Different Spotlight
I rarely quote Republicans but along the lines of POTUS getting an award for things he hasn't done, George Will counts what he and our divine FLOTUS did do on their last trip to Copenhagen.
That would be last Friday's Olympics fiasco, when Valerie Jarrett predicted that there wouldn't be a dry eye in the room, after FLOTUS and POTUS finished speaking.
Instead we were run out of Oslo in the first round, with the rest of the world not quite as impacted by the Chicago sob story as Valerie predicted.
In no way, did our humiliation come down only to the West Wing, with a heavy estrogen hit from Michelle Obama, Oprah and a few other gals recruited to rally the troops in Copenhagen.
There's plenty of blame to go around, and one can fairly ask about out Olympic bid, "What were they thinking?" It's true that the rest of the world is shaking their heads over the good 'ol USA these days. Indeed they love us lots more with POTUS at the helm.
But we're an unpredictable, smoking gun under any and all circumstances because -- let's face it -- America remains the most narcissistic nation on earth.
Back to the dry eye business. I didn't listen to FLOTUS and POTUS making their speeches, because I was astonished, disheartened and pissed of, after watching that downtrodden, isolated, poor-me, bleak Chicago video that said anything but " "Make us an Olympic City because we love YOU. Come to us, dear world, because we will rock you with a fun, inspiring, sports-inspired good time."
This above mantra is marketing 101 when you're trying to sell something to anyone -- why will I like it? Why will I have a good time with it? Why do I need it?
It seems that the scriptwriting out of Chicago was -- well, off tempo in Copenhagen.
According to George Will, that dreadful, bleak Olympic video wasn't the only isolationist move last Friday. Will's Washington Post piece First couple all about first-person pronouns, was picked up in Kansas City, where I just read it.
I've shared with you that my Midwestern family isn't too thrilled with East Coast narcissists. In fact, all the humility advice can be bad for women. We become martyrs to the cause of humility and do bad things to our personal health, our relationships and all else, in our inability to celebrate ourselves as women.
However, even I agree that if the First Lady truly did use the word "I" or "me" 44 times in the 41 sentences of her remarks, maybe that was overkill, when she was trying to sell an audience about reasons why they should like the Chicago Olympic bid.
This is the problem with cutting off Michelle Obama's PDAs in public. Those PDAs were about them -- we who adore her -- but I'm thinking except for family, the PDAs are now out of bounds.
You must admit, nonpersonal PDAs are few and far between these days. So much for directly connecting with people.
According to George Will's counters, POTUS used "I" or "me" only 26 times in 48 sentences, for a combined effort of 70 "I" or "me" references in 89 sentences.
POTUS was gallant when he told the Olympic Committee that Michelle was “a pretty big selling point for the city.” Obviously not -- which is hardly a criticism of the First Lady.
We play the poor-me, blame game better than any country in the world. If Easterners are arrogant, the Heartland wears a pity-poor-me badge better than Bangladesh.
Will drills into the unsettling, knawing topic of the Obama celeb status, arguing that Obama attitude got in the way of results in Copenhagen. Goodness knows, it's great to have a First Couple that the world loves. And no one suggests that saying "I" 70 times in 89 sentences resulted in a global slapdown.
The games belong in Rio and most people know that. Unlike most Conservatives except David Brooks, I'm a globalist and joyfully admit it.
Yet, the Nobel committee's decision to reward POTUS ahead of the game is not only unsettling but it perpetuates a silent fear that George Will is correct when he writes: "Perhaps the premise of the otherwise inexplicable trip to Denmark was that there is no difficulty, foreign or domestic, that cannot be melted by the sunshine of the Obama persona. But in the contest between the world and any president’s charm, bet on the world."
Had Will not counted the "I's" in Copenhagen last week, and had Chicago's Olympic video been an outreach sell job to the rest of the world, the naysayers around the Obamas' celebrity wouldn't get under my skin.
Unfortunately, a rash is spreading and ointment is on the shopping list. Plain 'ol Midwestern soap and water is no longer doing the trick, after George Will just got ahold of me. Anne
More reading: Will Nobel Prize also take Obama to Copenhagen climate talks? Reuters
First couple all about first-person pronouns Kansas City Star
Obama saw true symbolism of Olympics Chicago Tribune