Some members of the U.S. press reacted with jokes and puzzled musings Friday morning after waking up to learn President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.
There was light-hearted ribbing, like Ezra Klein, a blogger for the Washington Post, who twittered “Obama also awarded Nobel prize in chemistry. ‘He’s just got great chemistry,’ says Nobel Committee,” and Time’s Karen Tumulty who wondered “Has anyone asked Kanye West what he thinks of Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize?”
ABC’s Jake Tapper even noted “apparently the standards are more exacting for an ASU honorary degree these days,” referencing Arizona State’s decision to hold off on the giving Obama an honorary degree until he’d had time to accomplish more.
“It’s normally awarded to someone who has been in their field for some time,” an ASU spokeswoman said at the time. “Considering that the president is at the beginning of his presidency, his body of work is just beginning.”
Others showed concern that the award could actually backfire on the president. Time’s Mark Halperin wrote: “Barack Obama’s critics have long accused him of being a man of ‘just words,’ rather than concrete actions and accomplishments. The stunning decision to award him the Nobel Peace Prize for, basically, his rhetoric, will almost certainly infuriate his detractors in America more than it will delight his supporters.”
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll noted the American public’s approval of Obama’s foreign policy work has slipped since he took office. This week, a Quinnipiac University poll showed 49 percent of Americans surveyed approve of Obama’s foreign policy work so far, while 37 percent disapprove.
“They’re not unhappy with his foreign policy, but they’re not wildly enthusiastic about it either,” Brown told Raw Story.
Rabid responses from the far right appeared instantaneously Friday morning, with Politico quoting Rush Limbaugh as saying via e-mail: “This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama…And with this ‘award’ the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States.”
And the Democratic National Committee promptly accused the Republican Party of throwing “in its lot with the terrorists — the Taliban and Hamas this morning — in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize.”
“Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize — an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride — unless of course you are the Republican Party,” DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said.
But the left was also somewhat restrained in their praises for Obama’s win.
Renard Sexton, the international columnist from the progressive blog fivethirtyeight, characterized the win as a “bittersweet moment” for Obama’s liberal supporters. “Many have criticized the administration’s foreign policy for moving to the center, particularly on war issues, and the Peace Prize designation takes a great deal of air out of that balloon,” he wrote.
Melania Trump brags her husband ‘sees potential’ in the gays
In a bizarre moment, the first lady announced that President Donald Trump is all for gay people.
Speaking to a crowd in Atglen, Pennsylvania, Melania Trump described the president as someone “who sees potential in everyone he meets, no matter their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.”
She didn't use the typical term LGBTQ or even mention transgender people. But mentioning LGBTQ voters likely isn't a good idea in the Trump administration because of the laundry list of things they've done to hurt the community.
“Donald loves helping people and he loves seeing those around him and his country succeed,” Mrs. Trump added, claiming he has a “very big heart and a great sense of humor.”
The New Yorker lampoons Republicans who are turning on Trump
Writing in the New Yorker this Thursday, Mike Gillis took a satirical swipe at anti-Trump PACs formed by career Republicans. While not calling out the Lincoln Project by name, it's clear they're the inspiration for the piece.
"For decades, I have been known as one of the most significant voices in the Republican Party. I have advised the Bushes. I’ve aided the Quayles. I’ve tenderly kissed the Cheneys. But today I come to you to reveal that I am leaving this beloved party of mine—the party that educated me, housed me, tickled me, and dressed me up as a donkey and forced me to run drunkenly through the streets of Iowa to scare voters in the 1984 Presidential election," Gillis writes.
‘Reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty’: House issues scathing report on Trump migrant family separation policy
The Trump administration knew it would not be able to reunite refugee and other migrant families as it ripped children—including infants—from the arms of their parents but did so anyway, according to a congressional report released Thursday on the U.S. government's family separation policy.
"The Trump administration's family separation policy lasted far longer than is commonly known and was marked by reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty."—House Judiciary Committee reportThe House Judiciary Committee spent 21 months investigating the planning and execution of the administration's policy, which resulted in the seizure of more than 2,500 migrant children—including some with physical and mental disabilities—from their parents. Its report (pdf) is the "first complete narrative of the inhumane family separation policy in the administration's own words."