So what does Obama do for an encore?
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.
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.”
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.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama commenting on Nobel Peace Prize), Reuters/Scanpix Norway (Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman announces Obama has won Peace Prize)