Norway’s PM Works as Taxi Driver for Afternoon

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 11 2013 1:40 PM

Norway’s Prime Minister Spends Afternoon Working as Taxi Driver to Hear From Voters

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg pulled off a stunt recently that many of his fellow democratically elected leaders would likely be too scared to carry out: He tried to mingle with the people. In what he described as an effort to hear from real Norwegians, Stoltenberg dressed up as a taxi driver and spent an afternoon driving people around Oslo. He didn’t quite manage to remain incognito though. Pretty much all his passengers realized sooner or later who their driver was, despite the sunglasses and uniform. Still, from the short video posted online it seems like lively discussions did emerge, even if the passengers knew who they were talking to. One elderly woman says she’s lucky he was her driver because she "wanted to send a letter.”

The media stunt certainly makes the prime minister seem like friendly guy, with one woman even making fun of his driving. “Your driving isn’t exactly the best I’ve seen,” she said. Stoltenberg claims it was his first time driving in eight years. “So you agree with me on oil policy?” asks one young man. “No,” replied the prime minister, “the Socialist Party agrees with you on that.” Stoltenberg is popular, “but opinion polls suggest he is lagging behind the opposition ahead of the election,” notes the BBC.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Books
Sept. 17 2014 10:36 AM MacArthur Fellow Alison Bechdel Recounts Telling Her Mother About Her Best-Selling Memoir MacArthur Fellow Alison Bechdel recounts telling her mother about her best-selling memoir.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Behold
Sept. 17 2014 11:06 AM Inside the Exclusive World of Members-Only Clubs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 11:14 AM How Does That Geometry Problem Make You Feel? Computer tutors that can read students’ emotions.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.