Friday, October 09, 2009

President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize While Achieving Nothing

To be fair, it's premature that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Even the Associated Press isn't buying the argument that he deserves it:

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Price to President Barack Obama landed with a shock on darkened, still-asleep Washington. He won! For what?

For one of America's youngest presidents, in office less than nine months — and only for 12 days before the Nobel nomination deadline last February — it was an enormous honor.

The prize seems to be more for Obama's promise than for his performance. Work on the president's ambitious agenda, both at home and abroad, is barely underway, much less finished. He has no standout moment of victory that would seem to warrant a verdict as sweeping as that issued by the Nobel committee.

And what about peace? Obama is running two wars in the Muslim world — in Iraq and Afghanistan — and can't get a climate change bill through his own Congress.

His scorecard for the year is largely an "incomplete," if he's being graded.

That running two wars remark is important and signals the bind the President will now find himself in as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He's already withdrawing troops in Iraq and it's a safe bet that he'll do the same in Afghanistan. Of course, you don't have to take my word for it.

This was a political award pure and simple and had nothing to do with accomplishments either real or imagined. Then again, this is nothing new. The fact is that the Nobel Peace Prize doesn't mean the same thing it used to. Awarding the Peace Prize to President Obama doesn't do anything to enhance the standing of the prize. It doesn't do a whole lot for the recipient, either.

UPDATE: John Fund asks what the Nobel Committee was thinking.

Oh, this is where I went wrong. It's all about him, not us.

It wasn't what he achieved. It was that he wasn't George W. Bush.

And why he didn't win the prize for Literature.

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