"Mr. Obama made a muscular defense of American action against enemies, and recognized the existence of 'evil' in the globe and the inherent fallibility of human impulses -- core principles of a more traditionally conservative foreign policy," the Wall Street Journal writes.
"At the same time, Mr. Obama stuck to the kinds of commitments that earned him the peace prize in the first place -- the cause of international engagement over unilateralism."
The New York Times says Obama "delivered a mix of realism and idealism, implicitly criticizing both the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as inadequately appreciating the dangers of the world, and President George W. Bush as too quick to set aside fundamental American values in pursuit of security. And he embraced the concept of American exceptionalism, the idea that the United States has a special role as a defender of liberty, even as he promoted multilateralism. In that way, he continued a pattern evident throughout his public career of favoring pragmatism over absolutes."
The Washington Post's take: "The remarks offered a lofty, ideological justification for sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and stood in sharp contrast to the more technical argument he made in favor of escalation last week at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. His audience reached beyond the vaulted ceilings of Oslo City Hall to electorates in the United States and Europe, where many believe the war is no longer worth fighting."
In his weekly National Journal column, Charlie Cook argues that White House Press Secretary shouldn't quickly dismiss the Gallup poll as he did earlier this week. Looking at the last few weeks of Gallup data, Cook notes that Obama's numbers have ticked down -- slightly -- among almost all demographic groups.
Also in National Journal, Ron Brownstein writes that Obama maintains his overall strength among minorities and an overall weakness among white without a college degree. What the president and his advisers need to be concerned about, Brownstein concludes, is the performance among college-educated whites. "Obama's approval rating among college-educated whites dipped in Gallup this week to 44 percent, below his 2008 vote of 47 percent."
And are people really criticizing the White House over the number of folks invited to its Hannukkah party?