Obama’s peace prize

I don't have a lot to say about this, just a few random observations…

  • Obviously, Obama does not deserve this on its merits.  This strikes me as basically a giant middle finger to George W. Bush, i.e., simply by not being Bush (and ending his policies) Obama has done more than anyone to promote peace.  Given Bush's policies, this may actually be true, but still not truly worthy of the award.
  • The clearly cheapens the credibility of the award as it's obvious that Obama has not truly earned it. 
  • As my friend Steve Saideman points out in his rundown of theories, nominations for the award closed on February 1, so this clearly has little to do with Obama's governing, more so his being.  
  • Conservatives will go wild with this (and presumably already have), but it really doesn't speak poorly of Obama at all, simply the Nobel organization.
  • Big picture, I actually don't think this matters all that much or that people will be talking about it in a few months.  Then again, what do I know about this kind of stuff?
  • Since I usually log into facebook, before any news sites when I wake up, I actually learned about it as my friends' status updates were all pretty much taken up with the news.  Some statement on the modern world, I suppose.

Update: over at the Post, Jackson Diehl has a nice little post on how the committee actually explicitly admitted the politics involved, "We are hoping this may contribute a little bit for what he is trying
to do," Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel
Committee, said this morning. The prize "is a clear signal to the world
that we want to advocate the same as he has done to promote
international diplomacy."

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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