Whu? Obama Won a Nobel Peace Prize?
Whatever I have to say about this is probably going to be washed away in a torrent of opinion as the internet explodes, but this blogging business is pretty self-serving and narcissistic anyway, so here goes.
OSLO – Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.won the 2009 on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the
Nobel observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama woke up to the news a little before 6 a.m. EDT. The White House had no immediate comment on the announcement, which took the administration by surprise. (Source)
While I do like Obama (especially compared to his predecessor), I have to say, I never would have even considered him for a Nobel Preace Prize. Maybe at the end of his presidency, assuming he makes good on his potential and doesn’t mess things up, but right now? Way too early.
What’s odd is that the rationale behind giving him the prize seems to be ‘Let’s do this to encourage him to keep doing things right.’ I can see where they’re coming from (the entire world would prefer that the USA gets its act together, I think) , but you generally don’t get a prize of this magnitude for what you might do.
Or, as PZ Meyers has put it:
I don’t think Obama’s efforts for peace have been particularly notable — the wars still drag on with no end or even promise of an end in sight, and there has been some sabre-rattling over Iran from his administration lately — but I guess all you have to do is follow after Bush and not blow anything up for a year, and presto, you look like Gandhi. (Source)
Obama has yet to comment, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s feeling a bit awkward about the whole thing. These same thoughts are probably going through his mind as well – how do you graciously accept an award that almost everybody seems to feel you didn’t deserve? It would be ironic if the Nobel committee ultimately ended up doing Obama a disservice in the long run by hurting his reputation. (Although that doesn’t justify criticizing him over the decision – it’s not as if he went and asked for the award, after all.)