Concerned about how President Obama's "critics will dog him all the way to Oslo," former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw took to the op-ed page of the October 15 Washington Post to offer his recipe for "lift[ing] this discussion out of the partisan soup that is now the main course on our national agenda, whatever the issue."
Chef Brokaw then served up what is a proverbial bipartisan casserole comprised of some apolitical figures as well as a smattering of Democratic and Republican statesmen from the past quarter century:
The president should invite a high-profile and wide-ranging delegation of interests to accompany him. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, representing diplomacy and arms in pursuit of peace. Greg Mortenson, the author of "Three Cups of Tea," who has spent years working for education and literacy (especially for girls) in mountainous parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Field representatives from organizations such as Refugees International, the International Rescue Committee (where I am a volunteer overseer), CARE, Save the Children and other groups doing the hard work of caring for the victims of war. Bill and Melinda Gates should be in his delegation, as well as Republican Sam Brownback, the senator from Kansas, who's been a tireless advocate of greater U.S. involvement to stop the genocide in Sudan.
Obama might think of inviting former president George H.W. Bush and praising the work done during the Reagan-Bush years in managing the collapse of the Soviet Union and, for example, the reunification of Germany in such an impressive fashion. Former president Bill Clinton and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke deserve mention for the Dayton Peace Accords, which stopped the slaughter in Bosnia.
So Brokaw brought himself to admit that Presidents Reagan and Bush played a major role in ending the Cold War, but alas, that's the price of dreaming up a scenario that would result, in Brokaw's mind, in greater glory being given to Obama (emphasis mine):
If, as we're led to believe, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wanted to honor President Obama's determination to put a new face on America's efforts to shape a more peaceful world, what better way for him to respond than to share this distinguished prize with those who have been doing just that without sufficient recognition? Barack Obama's name will be the one on the peace prize, but his speech and his manner could become a gift for generations to come.