Within a span of five months The Washington Post gave op-ed space to Sarah Palin to display her ignorance on rhe economy and on climate change. In the latter piece she urged President Obama to boycott the climate conference in Copenhagen. Perhaps feeling the sting from the resulting criticism, the newspaper carried a collection of three columns today praising the president's acceptance speech as he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.
Eugene Robinson, in an op-ed piece, began by observing, "Hawks who suspected -- and doves who hoped -- that Obama was a secret pacifist will see that although he did not set out to be a "war president," he has accepted his fate."
A senior administration official, speaking not to be quoted by name, told me this week that the day Obama decided on the troop increase was the toughest so far for the president. The options, according to this official's account, were all bad.
Kathleen Parker called it "An American triumph at Oslo."Anyone still questioning whether he is really a Christian, rather than a Muslim aligned with fanaticism, needs to seek therapy forthwith."
Obama's speech, an artful balance of realism and idealism, was both a Judeo-Christian epistle, conceding the moral necessity of war, and a meditation on American exceptionalism. He was, in other words, the unapologetic president of the United States and not some errant global villager seeking affirmation.
I was listening to a couple of women on the street being interviewed by NPR. They complained that the president had not mentioned America and that he had not praised America. This kind of criticism not only indicates that they are deaf or they simply don't listen but also that they are members of a well-known faction that likes to shout down everyone else.
Of the 4,000 or so words Obama uttered, those most soothing to American ears, if not so much to those sitting closer, were Obama's paean to the sacrifices and gifts of his countrymen. He reminded the world that, whatever mistakes we've made, the United States has shed its blood and spent its treasure to enable democracy and to promote peace and prosperity around the world.
Dan Balz tries to reconcile Obama's early antiwar rhetoric with prevailing realities.
The incongruity of a president accepting the peace prize at a time when his nation is conducting battles in Iraq and Afghanistan was lost on no one, most notably Obama. He confronted this head-on.
Now Obama is commander in chief, and Afghanistan is his battle. Finishing the fight with bin Laden and al-Qaeda is his responsibility. In Oslo, he confronted all those realities, bearing burdens that no candidate ever does.
Finally, the mainstream media is featuring the president in a positive light instead of focusing on the antics of the crazies - the ones on the street and the ones in Congress. In a refreshing change, The Washington Post has been joined by most of her sister papers.