So what does Obama do for an encore?

October 9, 2009

Maybe he does walk on water…

President Barack Obama, having barely cut his teeth in office after nine months, has joined the rarified club of Nobel Laureates that includes the likes of  Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. Even Gandhi, despite being nominated five times, never made the list. NOBEL-PEACE/OBAMA

As with anyone who reaches the impossible dream early on, the question is: what next? He’s 48 years old, has more than three years left at the White House, how does he top this?

Obama said he was as surprised as anyone.

“Let me be clear, I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations,” he said in the White House Rose Garden.

“To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize, men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.”

NOBEL-PEACE-OBAMA/But, he said, he would accept the Nobel Peace Prize “as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.”

Obama’s children helped keep his feet on the ground. “After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, ‘Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo’s birthday’,” he said. “And then Sasha added, ‘plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up’.”

Still a mystery is who nominated Obama? The deadline for nominations was less than two weeks after he entered the White House.

Could it have been a law professor buddy? Obama used to be a University of Chicago law professor. Perhaps it was a wannabe friend from some foreign government? Or maybe another Nobel Laureate. The list of who has the power to nominate is here.

Those calling for Obama to turn down the prize in good conscience, having not accomplished world peace in his short White House tenure, will have to wish for something else.

He’s going to Norway.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama commenting on Nobel Peace Prize), Reuters/Scanpix Norway (Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman announces Obama has won Peace Prize)


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Objectively speaking, at this time Obama should respectfully refuse to accept the prize but should continue to work for peace and ultimately have the opportunity in the future to be considered for the prize based upon his merits. Kindest regards, Peacemaker

Posted by Peacemaker | Report as abusive

It is amazing what the guy can do,you have all these progressive liberal clergy going to assist Obama in the Whitehouse with the planning of the new era of green awareness,with the aclu,s blessing.Code Pink have decided that they have revised their opposition to the troops in Afghanistan,and are congratulating Obama,for fighting a just war,it is truly remarkable.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Who nominated BO for the nobel?

Whoever you are, please allow to be interviewed and stood up on why you nominated him?

You’re a coward if you will just remain anonymous?

Posted by James Walter | Report as abusive

The President of the United States is a symbol, not just to those of us who live here but to the rest of the world. There can be no doubt that President Bush came to symbolize a kind of “might makes right” world view that caused other nations to feel less secure and less part of the international policy-making scene.

President Obama has made all the right symbolic moves to reassure other nations that they are respected and have a voice in determining the future of the world we will leave to our great-grandchildren. The Nobel Peace prize is a symbol as well–a symbol of hope and the highest aspirations of civilization.

Symbols are essential in changing hearts and minds. They open up new possibilities for what can be created instead of destroyed. They don’t replace action or achievements but, rather, pave the way for them.

Let us join in the Nobel Committee’s symbolic gesture of goodwill and hope.

Let us view the world as one in which all cultures are created equal.

Let us wish for peace and prospering for all.

Let us become again a symbol of justice and compassion.

Posted by William Douglas Horden | Report as abusive

After reading the many posts on this and similar forums, I have noticed something.

All the (minority) posts supporting Obama’s getting this award either:

1. Don’t address the fact that he did NOTHING to deserve getting the award, or

2. Admit he didn’t actually do anything to deserve it, but think he should get the award anyway. For making people feel nice.

Is it just me, or are they missing the point? Does the nobel peace prize mean so little to them, that they believe Obama should get it for nothing?

Morgan Tsvangirai should get this award. He stood against Robert Mugabe. He inspired his people to vote, even under threat of torture or government sanctioned starvation. He was arrested in the middle of the election, and showed a beaten face to the media when he walked out of Mugabe’s police headquarters.

ANY of the other 200 or so dominated people should have got the award. Each of them has REAL things they did for others. REAL sacrifices made towards peace.

But now the nobel prize has been debased, and reduced to nothing but a meaningless symbol of populism. And Obama’s supporters, ever ready to worship their political messiah, don’t see a single thing wrong with doing so.

Obama has made history. And it is a sad day when a good speech writing gets an award, while true peace workers are ignored.

But then again, good speech writers are the ones who end up as popular over-worshipped presidents, don’t they?

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

I love how the media has recently been bashing President Obama for “all his failed promises”, then turn around in the very next news segment and complain that he has been in office only nine short months and doesn’t deserve this award.

Posted by Tony Hayden | Report as abusive

I hope that Obama treat this award as a beginning of a long journey. It is a award for starting in the right direction and is not given because of the accomplishments that he had made. The initiatives are there but they need to be followed up and substantiated as well as solidified. IMO, the award comes too soon. Hopefully Obama will be able to really justify that he deserves this award maybe by the end of his term.

Posted by Lim Boon Chuan | Report as abusive

I am curious how a prize like that can be awarded without no initial action having already to take place to back it up as such an honor?

Also, we are still at war and its a peace prize in which he is the president who is currently the one who is in charge of this war, although he did not start them. Still, how can a “peace” prize be awarded to someone as a leader in one side of the war?

Would this mean that people no longer have to actually put forth the effort to act upon an idea but to simply present an idea and become rewarded?

Posted by -D | Report as abusive

So what does Obama do for an encore?

Gee. How about EARNING the prize he was just awarded? Or did he earn it already simply by being Obama?

Posted by Hmmm | Report as abusive

Meteoric rises are often followed by devastating and equally rapid crashes. Obama certainly bests his predecessor at “speechifying” but to this point is the least substantial political figure of all time (though he has time to remedy that). Hope must be built on substance, not just on hope itself. This reward could be more trouble than it is worth for the president.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Whoever nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize just nominated the post of president.

What I mean is the Nobel Peace Prize went to whoever replaced Bush, it didn’t matter that it happened to be Obama.

Posted by Moose | Report as abusive

He got rid of the Bush Administration and that is enough in my book for him to get the Nobel Prize.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

“He got rid of the Bush Administration and that is enough in my book for him to get the Nobel Prize.”

Yes, he sure did.

Well, that and the fact Bush couldn’t run for a third consecutive turn anyway.


Posted by Gad | Report as abusive