When you're commander in chief of the world’s only superpower and find yourself flying to Oslo on your private 747 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, it helps to have someone along on the trip to keep you humble.
And White House pool reports from Oslo show first lady Michelle Obama is doing her part to keep President Obama grounded during his trip to pick up a prize that has also been won by Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Wifely advice: Brevity
Before picking up his prize and delivering an eloquent speech, the president and first lady visited the Nobel Institute to sign a guest book in the room where the Nobel Committee meets to vote on prizes. Mr. Obama carefully wrote seven lines of text, prompting Mrs. Obama to ask, “are you writing a book?”
When it was Mrs. Obama’s turn to write in the guest book, she quipped, “mine won’t be as long.” The president’s response: "She will resist writing something sarcastic since this will be recorded for the future."
When asked by the press what he had written Obama said, "What I did write actually is worth mentioning. In addition to being honored to receive it, I think it's important to congratulate the Nobel Committee for the work that it's done over the course of history to highlight the cause of peace, but also to give voice to the voiceless and the oppressed around the world.”
Later, the president and first lady visited His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja as well as Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. After greeting Norway's royal family in a wood paneled receiving room in the Slottet Royal Palace, Obama moved into position to have a group photo taken.
You'll be glad when the pictures come back
But before the picture could be snapped, Mrs. Obama brought the proceedings to a brief halt by reaching over to pick some lint off of the presidential suit coat. The president said, "this is what..." and the queen finished his thought with "they are there for." As the pool reporter present for the occasion said, Mr. Obama and the queen both meant wives.
Queen Sonja also remarked on the American press traveling with the president, asking Obama, “Are you used to this?" The president answered, “Unfortunately. "
CORRECTION: Originally, this article incorrectly stated that Mohandas Gandhi had received the Nobel Peace Prize. Although nominated several times, Gandhi was never awarded the prize.
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