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Obama Wins Consolation Prize   October 9th, 2009
Couldn't win Chicago, but got Nobel Peace Prize?       

 
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It probably doesn't need to be mentioned because half the world is commenting on this. But President Obama today won... the Nobel Peace Prize??

President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009, making him the 108th recipient of the prestigious award...

The announcement was a surprise -- Obama's name had not been mentioned among front-runners -- and the roomful of reporters in Oslo, Norway, gasped when he was named.


He won the Nobel Peace Prize? He hasn't done anything!

That's not meant as a slam. He's only been president nine months. He hasn't done anything. He hasn't significantly advanced peace in the Middle East. He hasn't reduced nuclear weapons in the U.S. let alone anywhere else. He hasn't solved the North Korea nuclear crisis nor the Iranian nuclear crisis, and in fact stood by and did nothing while Iran killed protesters and now is apparently getting ready to execute some more. He had no serious response to earthquakes and tsunamis around the world. As far as I know he hasn't made any notable efforts to improve the plight of Africa.

On exactly what basis did the president receive the Nobel Peace Prize? What has he done?

This is just a joke. Granted, the Nobel Peace Prize basically made itself a joke and stripped itself of all credibility when it gave the prize to terrorist Yasser Arafat and to movie-maker Al Gore.

But awarding the prize to Obama for literally doing nothing just takes the cake. This makes a further mockery of the prize, and even puts the president on the receiving end of jokes and mocking.

I want to inform the Nobel Committee that I showed up for work this morning. Where's my Nobel prize?

Seriously, can President Obama turn down the award? Politely, of course? Yes, it would be a slap in the face to the Nobel Committee but would actually raise the stature of the president. The president can't actually believe he deserves this award, can he? By turning it down he'd also help address concerns that the president is self-obsessed, a narcissist. Accepting the prize will only strengthen those suspicions.

I'll add notable external quotes below as I find them:

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace...

East-West relations are little better than they were six months ago, and any change is probably due largely to the global economic downturn; and America's vaunted determination to re-engage with the Muslim world has failed to make any concrete progress towards ending the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The bestowal of one of the world's top accolades on a president less than nine months in office, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo.

The deadline for nominations for the prize was Feb. 1 -- two weeks after Mr. Obama was inaugurated.

"So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far," former Polish President Lech Walesa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, said Friday. "He is still at an early stage."

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned or just plain old, but when I awoke this morning to news that Barack Obama had been selected to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, something didn't feel right.

Having worked for six secretaries of state and four presidents and watched them struggle with a cruel and unforgiving world, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, it occurred to me that today's announcement was seriously out of whack.

Giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize is a "premature canonization" and an "embarrassment" to the process of designating a laureate, a presidential historian says.

"The jury is still out as to what his presidency is going to add up to," Fred Greenstein, author and professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University, told FOXNews.com.

"It's more of an embarrassment to the Nobel process."...

Stephen Wayne, professor of American government at Georgetown University, praised Obama's "good instincts" and strong belief in diplomacy, but said he failed to see accomplishments that merited the prize.

"It does seem to me, at this point, that's its premature," Wayne said. "When I first saw it, I thought it was a joke. Obama may have been the first to get it for his rhetoric and his orientation."


Criticism from the left, too:

I had the same immediate reaction which I'm certain many others had: this was some kind of bizarre Onion gag that got accidentally transposed onto the wrong website, that it was just some sort of strange joke someone was playing...

... but there are simply no meaningful "peace" accomplishment in his record -- at least not yet -- and there's plenty of the opposite.


I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce. He's done nothing to deserve the prize.


And it looks like I'm not the only one that thinks it would be appropriate for the president to decline the award:

If the sound of jaws dropping around the world this morning wasn't loud enough, here's a suggestion that could reveberate even louder: that President Barack Obama should turn down the award. Commentary from both sides of the political spectrum voiced the idea this morning.

'Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish,' writes Mickey Kaus, a liberal-ish blogger for Slate. 'And the downside is -- what? That the Nobel Committee feels dissed?' Kaus reasons that the nod will distract the president at a crucial policy-making time over 'another grand speech' and does nothing to help him move his domestic agenda.


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