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'Obama cares more about Norway than Reinfeldt'

Karen Holst · 29 Jul 2011, 13:54

Published: 29 Jul 2011 13:54 GMT+02:00

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For much of the last week, Reinfeldt has been under fire for his lack of appropriate response in the wake of the bloodiest attack in Scandinavia since WWII.

A letter addressed to Reinfeldt said it was "sad" that US President Barack Obama "seems to care more about last week’s deadly tragedy in Norway," reported newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

While Reinfeldt issued a statement the evening of the attacks and held a press conference the following day, he has kept a low profile ever since.

The letter comes after Reinfeldt failed to attend the memorial service at the Church of Norway in Stockholm last Sunday and has been mum, critics even say invisible, since last week's attacks, sparking an onslaught of disapproving commentary.

More than 50 letters were sent to the Prime Minister's office this week regarding Norway’s tragedy, with most slamming Reinfeldt's response, DN reported.

Comments included how Reinfeldt’s reaction to the tragedy “totally crushed” a supporter’s impression of him to how extremely "disappointed" one became in the way he handled the situation.

On the one week anniversary of the terrorist attacks, Reinfeldt published commentary in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper where he described the "senseless" explosion in Oslo and shootings in Utøya a “crime against us all.”

Echoing Norwegian leadership, he stated the “answer to the threat to our freedom and democracy must be more freedom and democracy.”

While recalling December’s suicide bomb in Stockholm, he described Sweden and its Nordic neighbours as some of the “most open and free countries.”

“We should also be aware that our open society makes us vulnerable. Anyone who wants to can take advantage of the open society to spread hatred and death,” he wrote, adding that there will never be a sufficient solution.

Reinfeldt also took care to emphasise his early contact with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in the wake of the drama to express Sweden’s deep sympathy and offer help.

In comparison, President Obama expressed his sympathies for the Norwegian people on live-TV just hours after the attack and also made a personal visit to the Norwegian embassy in Washington DC in the thick of his country’s dire finance crisis.

Meanwhile, Denmark’s Prime Minister spoke at the memorial service held in Copenhagen this week.

Story continues below…

Per Schlingmann, State Secretary of Communications, was surprised by the stinging criticism of Reinfeldt, who he said acted swiftly and even offered help, such as with ambulances that might have been needed.

“The Prime Minister acted quickly both during the night it happened, but even with a press conference the day after. He offered to go to the memorial ceremony in Oslo, but they did not have international guests,” he told DN.

According to Schlingmann, the requests for a more visible presence from Reinfeldt simply bear witness to the strong confidence the Swedish people have in him as Prime Minister.

Karen Holst (kholstmedia@gmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

15:06 July 29, 2011 by jacquelinee
You are being very unfair to Mr.Reinfeldt. After all it IS July and, as everyone knows, the entire COUNTRY seems to go missing then.
15:22 July 29, 2011 by Åskar
The first head of a government to contact Stoltenberg by telephone to express his grief did it in Swedish, but it was Giorgos Papandreou.
15:23 July 29, 2011 by millionmileman
This is utter piffle. Obama cares about nothing but himself. Reinfeldt needs to start caring about the future of SAAB in Trollhättan.
15:26 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Excuse me, but, who is Fredrik Reinfeldt?

He has been, is and will be more invisible than the invisible man. He is a character made by Shlingman, Alenius, Carlsson and the rest of his press megaphones.

Why should he do something like Obama? He is not even a 1 percent of the size of Obama. You should never compare oil with water. His sense of empathy is zero as well as his common sense and his sense of humour. Putin made s... of him last April during a Press Conference, where his Norberta Allhenius tried to stop him and a foreign correspondent to speak.

Expressing your condolences to the Norwegian people should have been a priority of this invisible Fredrik RainField. He should have attended the memorial organized in Stockholm, not in Oslo; he should have been more active to show his government's solidarity towards Sweden's neighbour and he should once for all evaporate so the Swedes stop being ashamed of the type of prime minister they have.

When someone close to you dies, it is precisely the time to show who you are and how much your friend meant to you.

According to Schlingmann, the "requests for a more visible presence from Reinfeldt simply bear witness to the strong confidence the Swedish people have in him as Prime Minister."

This is nothing but bs.

We are not talking about the confidence the Swedish people have in RainField as Prime Minister. We are talking here about the confidence one should have in him as a human being. That is what is all about.
15:36 July 29, 2011 by Mb 65
Obama will support anyone with oil, he's fanatical when it comes to oil. if Sweden put all the money they are sending to Africa into Saab they would have been saved long ago. it is no good sending good money after bad.
15:37 July 29, 2011 by Iraniboy
Being talkative and without any actions is not 'care'!

I think he acts more than he speaks!
15:44 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@Mb 65

Please stick to the point here. We are nod discussing Obama or Saab. We are discussing the lack of empathy of Reinfeldt and nothing more.

The way he has behaved towards our neighbouring country is a disgrace. This is what this thread is all about, so please, all of you who are participating with your comments, stick to the basics of it.
16:14 July 29, 2011 by Great Scott
Reinfeldt cares nothing about his own people, how on earth you expect him to care about Norway,

The only thing Reinfeldt cares about, is himself and his fat cat friends.
16:38 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
And his Roberta Alenius. Just wait and see.
17:01 July 29, 2011 by Streja
Very unfair criticism.
17:03 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

Just tell me why?
17:10 July 29, 2011 by cogito
Is there some sort of grief competition?

Do you measure "caring" by the number of words? Is there a tear-quota? If I look really really sad, does that mean I "care" more?

Dumb article.
17:11 July 29, 2011 by bolababu
unfair criticism i would also say, Swedes are known to act much more than just talk, be it towards good intentions or bad ones.
17:24 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@cogito and @bolababu

First it is not a matter of words. It is a matter of attitude, and RainField's attitude has been zero.

Under this point of view, criticisms against Rainfield are quite fair.

Both of you: In life, whether you are with your friends or you are not. So simply.
17:35 July 29, 2011 by miss79
he cares for money and his rich friends only..
17:59 July 29, 2011 by zoroastrina
Obama is a well-meaning lackey or toady of the bloodthirsty and (like most of the superrich) insatiably greedy American financial aristocracy. (i am an 'Ami'.)

Is Batman making a pun? He could check sanakirja.org and the People's Dictionary. Reinfeldt as *'Rainfield'. Is he a crackbrained folk etymologist?

åker: field "feldt" is a variant of the Germanic Feld. Feldt means " a cleared area" in a Danish name". "rein" includes in its extension the concept of reining in a horse, an obsolete word for the kidney, reins kidneys, and the idea of purity. "Old High German reini, from Proto-Germanic *hrainiz, a suffixed form of Proto-Indo-European *(s)keri-. Cognate with Old Saxon hreni (Dutch rein), Old Norse hreinn (Swedish ren); and with Ancient Greek χρίνειν, Old Irish criathar. More remotely related to English riddle ("sieve")."

tygel: reins (used to control a horse or another animal

tygla: rein [figuratively, " control"]

etymologist : with a bit of paronomasia one could arrive at entomologist.

I don't like the criticism of Reinfeldt. I hate ad hominem attacks. My reply is perhaps ad hominem, but the target of my attack, my opponent, is only an abstraction.
18:03 July 29, 2011 by eddie123
come on lads, give the PM a break. there is a whole world of difference between silent diplomacy and the for camera circus approach to diplomacy. the PM called his Norwegian counterpart and offered condolence and support from the Swedish government. what more do you guys expect from the PM - that he should mourn more than the bereaved? please! the PM has acted appropriately and it is not for the media to now begin to call his leadership to question. when in Swedish history are Swedes loud or noisy? never! Swedes are silent, analytic and efficient. more so, Norway is for Norwegians whilst Sweden is for Swedes. the PM has ensured that Swedes live in peace and relative safety and we should be appreciative of his efforts and allow Norway to deal with their crisis as best they can.
18:08 July 29, 2011 by josh gura
politicians use events like this as fuel for their agendas. further, it is interesting to note that the main question all reporters have are "how will your country change its laws in response to breivik?" everyone is talking about him and his ideas, and this only shows the world what you have to do to get attention, AND political results. its sick, but people in general aren't known for being smart.
18:24 July 29, 2011 by Scambaiter
"Det har under dagen uppmärksammats att en lokal företrädare för partiet har skrivit om massmorden i Norge på sin blogg. Av texten kan det tolkas som att det är massinvandringspolitiken och skapandet av det mångkulturella samhället som ligger bakom att massmorden kunnat ske. SD delar inte den analysen och tar kraftfullt avstånd från alla försök att använda massmorden i den politiska debatten."

Don't believe the lie!

Hellsborn posted exactly what these SD bigots really think on his blog.

No debate with murderers or political capital for people who sympathize with them!! The less attention monsters like Breivik get the better.
18:27 July 29, 2011 by Scepticion
Well, at least it seems Reinfeldt did something.

All I saw Socalist Juholt do was to release a statement
18:42 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

I do not need lessons from a nincompoop. I know the etymology of the surname Reinfeldt but I wanted to write it as Rain Field, ergo, a field with rain, ergo, a field with any type of rain. You choose. Got it?.

If I were an entomologist, I would certainly like to study insects such as you, but yes, I am an expert in paronomasia, so you better start finding out why I wrote ZOROASTRIÑA, and not zoroastrina. Hope you enjoy the lesson and please, keep on focusing on the subject. We do not need "linguistic" experts in The Local comments.

The Local: my previous comment was not accepted because of whatever you want. Do we or don't we have freedom of speech in Sweden. Oh, no, I forgot the infamous press conference where Putin made "potatismos" of the democracy and freedom of speech in Sweden.
20:13 July 29, 2011 by Etepete
Scepticion: I beg your pardon? Juholt is in norway at a memorial service right now. And anyway Juholt can hardly express the condolences of the Swedish people as he isn't PM - plus he doesn't have the same media platform that is available to Reinfeldt
20:41 July 29, 2011 by Scepticion

Sorry, you are right. But it's not that he isn't PM, if you look at www.dn.se, Mona Sahlin get's the picture, while you have to dig to find Juholt.
21:10 July 29, 2011 by ann68
It is very unfair criticism of Obama mindful of their own your country no Europe is not there enough problems in Amerika???!

Sweden prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, and the swedes,

< in Europe it is known > to act much more than what you are talking about!!!!
21:52 July 29, 2011 by johan rebel
Reinfeldt = Rainfield ?!?

Assuming that you not only have a decent command of both English and Swedish but also are at least four years old, then surely you can do beter. No?
21:54 July 29, 2011 by Roy E
What a silly article.

Nonetheless, Mr. Reinfelt need not worry about caring less than Obama. Obama only cares about Obama (and reading the words right as they scroll across his teleprompter , but that also goes back to caring about Obama so please forgive the redundancy) .
23:24 July 29, 2011 by wxman
On closer examination, it should be obvious that Obama cares about all things personal than ANYTHING else. DUH!
23:28 July 29, 2011 by jostein
Well, why should he care about Norway more than Obama? Just because the swedes and the Norwedgians are related? Well, Mr Reinfeldt is not a racist so he does not care about the norway any more than he care about kamerun or japan or russia. Why should he?
00:05 July 30, 2011 by tucanofulano
The Donkey-in-Chief has been braying a lot but has said nothing useful as regards the USA debt. But he has been very busy spreading confidential personal information concerning elected members of Congress on the internet. Anders and Obama = same type guy with opposite views.
01:22 July 30, 2011 by blursd
It's when I read articles like this I have to mentally concentrate afterwards so I don't develop a migraine ... what utter and complete nonsense. Obama cares more about Norway? Are they serious? Oh yes, he drove the whole three miles to the Norwegian Embassy during the "Debt Crisis," but the don't mention the fact he's also found enough time during the crisis to go to over eight campaign fundraisers -- bringing in around $6 million for his presidential campaign. So, one visit to the Norwegian Embassy and six visits to fundraisers during the much trumpeted "Debt Crisis" that is threatening to destroy the United States economy.

Well, it seems to me under those circumstance it's quite clear (from Obama's actions) he clearly cares more about raising money for his presidential campaign than he does about Norway.
01:48 July 30, 2011 by Keith #5083
Genuine shock and/or grief are not virtual reality tv shows.
02:59 July 30, 2011 by conboy
Reinfeldt is a parody not a Prime Minister
04:30 July 30, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Scandinavia - Sweden, Denmark and Norway are a dysfunctional family. They may not always agree, but in the end they are still "family" even if you can't always feel the love.
06:48 July 30, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
21:52 July 29, 2011 by johan rebel

Reinfeldt = Rainfield ?!?

"Assuming that you not only have a decent command of both English and Swedish but also are at least four years old, then surely you can do beter. No?"

Of course I can do BETTER. nincompoop.

Before making a comment, you should read other comments and then you would see what I wrote to


I do not need lessons from a nincompoop. I know the etymology of the surname Reinfeldt but I wanted to write it as Rain Field, ergo, a field with rain, ergo, a field with any type of rain. You choose. Got it?.

Furthermore, here you do not need to have a decent command in Swedish and if someone makes mistakes in English, WE ARE NOT IN A GRAMMAR SCHOOL, so, if one writes "beter" instead of "BETTER", so what?

09:11 July 30, 2011 by Monitor Lizard
Why do they have to make it a "contest" between who "care" more Reinfeldt or Obama?

It's not a contest people. Shees.
12:44 July 30, 2011 by cogito
Politicians put on the "caring" show in order to market themselves.

Obama cares about nothing. Except campaigning for re-election

Though not a huge fan of Reinfeldt, I respect him for his subdued condolence message, that is, for putting on less of a grief show.
12:44 July 30, 2011 by Streja
Smiling Canuk, you can feel the love all the time.
22:24 July 31, 2011 by johnny1939
Mr. Obama cares for nothing and nobody but his own ego. FR is doing the best he can and of course he is a Swede and does not carry his heart on his sleeve like the rest of us here.
10:28 August 1, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

FR a Swede? I thought he was an alien.
12:14 August 1, 2011 by cogito

Precisely. It is easy to make a sanctimonious show of "caring" or grief. It is saying, "Look at me. See what a fine, sensitive person I am."

I respect F.R. for not exploiting the Norwegian sadness for political gain.
13:07 August 2, 2011 by Room for Rent
Obama is only after his own interests ( Norwegians are lucky to have a good wealth in oil ) Obama needs them, Nowegians knows how sweden and govt helps and backs norway. this is not a matter to discuss.. Those who new to system here might find obama a hero...
19:40 August 3, 2011 by Kathi Peterson
President Obama has been criticized here in the United States for not being a leader, delegating his job to his appointed "czars" and to Congressional leaders. We just spent weeks and weeks on a debt ceiling crisis and the President was mroe focused on professional football negotiations and his golf game than taking care of the financial status of the American people. Don't be duped. He's no hero or thoughtful of the Norwegian people. He's a totally empty suit who was elected without any experience and his lack of leadership is frustrating to ALL the American people. Our sincere condolences to our Norwegian friends and family. My ancestors emigrated to America from Fredrikstad, Norway in 1888 and they'd have been so devistated by the tragedy in Norway last week!
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