President Obama should thank the Nobel committee and ask them to hold on to the Peace Prize for a couple more years. The prize should be awarded for achievement, not aspiration, and so far Obama’s main achievement has been getting elected President, which is in a different category. He shouldn’t contribute to the unfair accusation that he is all talk by accepting an award based on speeches he gave in Berlin, Prague, and Cairo.
If any person has done more to advance some measure of calm, reason and peace in this troubled word lately, it's president Obama. I think the Cairo speech and the Wright speech alone merited this both bridging ancient rifts even while they remain, of course, deep and intractable. He has already done more to heal the open wound between the West and Islam than anyone else on the planet.
Reading through all the reactions, there are two obvious points: this is premature and this is thoroughly deserved.
Both are right. I don't think Americans fully absorbed the depths to which this country's reputation had sunk under the Cheney era. That's understandable. And so they also haven't fully absorbed the turn-around in the world's view of America that Obama and the American people have accomplished. Of course, this has yet to bear real fruit. But you can begin to see how it could; and I hope more see both the peaceful intentions and the steely resolve of this man to persevere.
This president has done a huge amount to bring race relations in this country to a different place, which is why the far right has become so vicious in attacking him and lying about him. They know he threatens their politics of division and rule. He has also directly addressed the Muslim world, telling some hard truths, and played a small role in evoking a similar movement of hope and change in Iran, and finally told the Israelis to stop cutting their nose off to spite their face.
He's been largely absent on Sudan, Congo, Burma and global poverty and health issues, and doesn't even have a USAID administrator. I think he has the right instincts on these issues and expect him to get engaged, but shouldn't the Nobel Peace Prize have a higher bar than high expectations? Especially when there are so many people who have worked for years and years on the front lines, often in dangerous situations, to make a difference to the most voiceless people of the world? I think of Dr. Denis Mukwege at the Panzi Hospital in eastern Congo, or Jo and Lyn Lusi at the Heal Africa Hospital also in eastern Congo, or Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health for his tireless work in Haiti and Rwanda, or Greg Mortenson traipsing all over Pakistan and Afghanistan to build schools, or Dr. Catherine Hamlin working for half a century to fight obstetric fistula and maternal mortality in Ethiopia, or so many others. In the light of that competition, it seems to me that it might have made sense to wait and give Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in his eighth year in office, after he has actually made peace somewhere.
Two key White House aides were both convinced they were being punked when they heard the news, reported ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.
"It's not April 1, is it?" one said.
In a stunning turn of events, President Barack Obama has swept baseball's postseason honors in both leagues, a feat never before accomplished and long considered impossible.
At a hastily scheduled press conference, Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig announced that Obama has been named Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award Winner and Most Valuable Player in both the American and National Leagues. These honors come on the heels of Obama's surprise selection as Rolaids Relief Man.