I have no idea if this influenced the Nobel Committee’s decision-making, but it’s worth noting that one thing I’ve heard a lot about in Europe is disquiet over Barack Obama’s failure to commit to personally attending the COP15 conference on climate change in December. There’s a lot of sentiment that the president putting his personal credibility on the line could be an important factor.
The conference is being held in Copenhagen and it starts on December 7 but runs for a couple of weeks. Interestingly enough, the Nobel Prize is going to be handed out in Oslo on December 10. In other words, in the middle of the conference. And Oslo is pretty close to Copenhagen. And Obama will be in Oslo to accept the award. Under the circumstances, it will be hard for the White House to come up with a good reason why it’s impossible for Obama to pop by Copenhagen.