The Inevitable Nobel-As-Club
Helen Thomas today at the White House:
Q Since there's so much talk of war now, will this have an impact and make him seek peace more?
MR. GIBBS: Well, look, Helen, I would point you to what the President said today. Obviously we've got -- the President and his team have worked since the very beginning of our administration to work toward bringing peace to the Middle East.
Q With more war that's going on.
MR. GIBBS: Well, we have these disagreements, you and me, Helen. (Laughter.) But obviously I think -- the President mentioned both his hopes for and work for peace in the Middle East, as well as the commitments that he has as Commander-in-Chief to protect the American people and to prevent the spread of the type of violent extremism that we see in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Q But we're conducting wars there. Is he trying to find a way to peace?
MR. GIBBS: Well, again, Helen, we've done this before. There are people --
Q Don't say we've done this before. I'm asking you a question.
MR. GIBBS: I understand. There are those that sit there in that region of the world and actively are plotting and planning to do America harm.
Q How do you know that? And what are we doing to them?
MR. GIBBS: One, I watch the news. And two, I get that from the intelligence briefings.
I don't know if the President will have any problem sending in more troops after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize - he certainly didn't before - but this meme is absolutely out there. And it really shouldn't be a problem for a President who wants to live up to those promises, though Robert Gibbs was obviously flustered by it.
I don't buy the tradmed argument that the Nobel will somehow hurt Obama, and I don't know if it constrains future events, but it certainly gives himself something to live up to.