Obama's "Just War" Speech Warms Conservative Hearts

President briefly scores foreign policy points with his critics in Oslo

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Friday, Dec 11, 2009  |  Updated 6:31 AM PDT
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Obama's Littlest Constituents

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President Barack Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in Norway and some rare praise from conservatives.

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Having ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, President Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Thursday with a full-throated defense of the need at certain moments in history to confront evil with force.

For one day at least, the president won over many of his critics on the right by invoking the idea of a “just war.”

  • “Historic,” Ex-GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich tells The Takeaway on WNYC. “He clearly understood that he had been given the prize prematurely but he used it as an occasion to remind people, first of all, as he said: that there is evil in the world."
  • “If Bush had said these things the world would be filled with violent denunciations. When Obama says them, people purr,” Walter Russell Mead, Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations writes on Politico's Arena blog. “That is fine by me...He didn't just put lipstick on the pig; he gave it a makeover and sent it to charm school. Now he just has to make the foreign policy work.”
  • Speaking of lipstick...“I liked what he said,” American pitbull and ex- veep candidate Sarah Palin tells USA Today. She also throws in a "Going Rogue" plug for good measure. "I talked too in my book about the fallen nature of man and why war is necessary at times,” she said. 
  • “Congratulations, Mr. President,” writes The Wall Street Journal editorial board. "President Obama gave a gracious speech yesterday accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, starting with the humble note that he has yet to earn it. If his Oslo hosts expected a woolly-headed address about peace in our time, they also didn't get it. He stated clearly that sometimes war is necessary to defend the peaceable and to serve justice and liberty. He even hit the George W. Bush note that "evil does exist in the world."

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