Obama honors Nobel winner with statement about himself

There was an extraordinary scene at the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Friday morning.  The prize went to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was barred by the Chinese government from attending the ceremony.  It was the first time since 1935 — when the prize went to a winner imprisoned in one of Adolf Hitler's concentration camps — that the Peace Prize winner did not appear personally to accept the award.

So on this notable occasion, the White House released a statement from President Obama on the awarding of the prize to Liu in absentia. And this is how Obama's statement began:

One year ago, I was humbled to receive the Nobel Peace Prize — an award that speaks to our highest aspirations, and that has been claimed by giants of history and courageous advocates who have sacrificed for freedom and justice.

Critics have often said of Obama that “it's all about him,” that he has a tendency to reference himself no matter what subject he is discussing.  Could he do any more to prove them right?  But just to show that he is, in fact, humble, the president followed his opening sentence with this:

Mr. Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was.

In the rest of his statement, Obama writes that “We respect China's extraordinary accomplishment in lifting millions out of poverty, and believe that human rights include the dignity that comes with freedom from want.”  But of course, Liu wasn't at the Nobel ceremony in Oslo because of the Chinese government, so Obama adds, “Mr. Liu reminds us that human dignity also depends upon the advance of democracy, open society, and the rule of law. The values he espouses are universal, his struggle is peaceful, and he should be released as soon as possible.”  And then, before closing, the president makes one more reference to himself:

I regret that Mr. Liu and his wife were denied the opportunity to attend the ceremony that Michelle and I attended last year.

Indeed.

 

Barack ObamaBeltway ConfidentialNobel Peace PrizeUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

‘Extremely disturbing’: SF police chief condemns death of George Floyd

Bill Scott joins SFPOA, top cops nationwide in deeming incident a failure of policing

Haight Street group drops ties with prominent pro-Trump attorney

Amoeba, other merchants filed lawsuit seeking to block ‘Safe Sleeping’ site on Stanyan

CCSF board votes to close Fort Mason campus

College dropping lease on waterfront site to help close projected deficit

Planning Commission greenlights 1,100 unit Balboa Reservoir project

Development near CCSF expected to include 50 percent below-market rate units

Breed announces timeline for when SF’s businesses can reopen after COVID-19 shutdown

Restaurant advocacy group wants The City to allow indoor dining sooner

Most Read