Isn’t it so fitting?
From community organizer to Illinois state senator (present!) to U.S. Senator for 143 days before moving into the White House…and now, the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize — not for anything he’s actually done, but for the symbolism of what he might possibly accomplish sometime way off in the future:
President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.
The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.
It’s the final nail in the Nobel Peace Prize Committee’s coffin.
A Chinese dissident and an Afghan women’s rights activist lost out to this:
The Nobel committee praised Obama’s creation of “a new climate in international politics” and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage. The plaudit appeared to be a slap at President George W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama’s predecessor for resorting to largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.
I can’t capture the incredulity this morning any better than Allahpundit has: “Am I awake?”
Erik Erickson at RedState quips: He’s Becoming Jimmy Carter Faster Than Jimmy Carter Did.
Michael P. Leahy asks: Where’s Kanye West when you need him?
Obama’s press secretary woke him with the news before dawn and the president felt “humbled” by the award, a senior administration official said.
When told in an email from Reuters that many people around the world were stunned by the announcement, Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, responded: “As are we.”
The World Apology Tour yields dividends.
Mary Katherine Ham looks at the nominees who were passed over.
If Obama had an ounce of real humility, he’d refuse to accept the award.
11:30am Eastern. And he speaks. Obama acknowledges he doesn’t deserve the award, but he will accept it anyway. He’s “deeply humbled.” But not really.
It’s about “aspirations,” not achievement. It’s a “call to action.”
Reporter shouts: “What will you do with the prize money?” No answer.
I think he should give it to the nominees he beat out. What do you think?
Christian Science Monitor on the international politics behind the Nobel decision: “The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Barack Obama appears to be an effort to spur on, rather than reward, peacemaking.”