This is full of money quotes. Bear in mind that the guy had only been in office for a week when the nominations were done.
[Chairman of the Nobel committee Thorbjorn] Jagland said he hoped the prize would help Obama resolve the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, last year’s laureate, said it was clear the Nobel committee wanted to encourage Obama on the issues he has been discussing on the world stage.
“I see this as an important encouragement,” Ahtisaari said…
And Wangari Muta Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who won the 2004 Peace Prize, said the win for Obama, whose father was Kenyan, would help Africa move forward.
“I think it is extraordinary,” she said. “It will be even greater inspiration for the world. He has shown how we can probably come together, work together in a cooperative way.”
“Probably.” They’re giving away the Nobel prize on “probably” and “encouragement” now. To a guy who claims he wants to push for war in Afghanistan and has created international incidents in Honduras, Iran, Israel, and Poland.
Well, maybe this will encourage him to do something worthy of the prize, right? Like Yassir?
Where’s my prize? I could maybe unite some people.
Seriously though, I wonder what possible justification could be used for this other than shameless pandering. It’s absurd to the nth degree, and the fact that the world is so publicly assuming the position for this hollow shell of a president – note that Nobel is not an American institution! – makes me nauseous for what the next three years will be like.
(EDIT: Even HuffPo thinks it’s absurd. When you lose Huffington…)
(EDIT) More prize quotes from around the web:
“It would be wonderful if I could think why he won,” said Claire Sprague, 82, a retired English professor as she walked her dog in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. “They wanted to give him an honor I guess but I can’t think what for.”
Itya Silverio, 33, of Brooklyn, was also surprised. “My first opinion is that he got it because he’s black,” she said. “What did he do that was so great? He hasn’t even finished office yet.”
Ahlheid from Germany wrote: “Ridiculous! Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize. I am wondering what for? Replacing Bush? So far he has accomplished virtually nothing!”
While Michael Lipkin in Tehran, Iran, wrote: “If Obama deserves the Noble Peace Prize then so does every Miss America contestant who babbles about world peace.”
Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he’s honored but he hasn’t had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory–and helps solve his narcissism problem.
They could have awarded it to Kylie Minogue and I wouldn’t have been half as surprised as I am watching the television screens around me proclaiming that Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel peace prize.
“The Nobel committee is preaching at Americans, but they won’t be deceived,” says Bolton. “He should decline it and then ask to be considered again in three or four years when he has a record.”
“Today’s news is just another demonstration of how politicized the Nobel Peace Prize has become, from President Carter winning in 2002, to Al Gore in 2007, and President Obama in 2009.”
With less than a year in office, and relatively few accomplishments to speak of (yet) this prize may prove to be pretty awkward for the President, as he’s constantly had to fight the image of all-hype-little-substance.
“He held out his hand but he hasn’t brought anything new to us. The American troops are leaving, but that happened before Obama was elected,” Mr. Mohammed said. “Don’t you have to accomplish something big to win that award?”
Unlike his predecessors, Obama was selected not for substantive accomplishments, but for his “vision” and inspiring “hope” at the beginning of his presidency.
Steele, who took over the reins of the party earlier this year, said he thought it was “unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights.” He said he doesn’t think Obama will be “receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.”
At least the Nobel committee came clean this time. In awarding the peace prize to President Obama its chairman acknowledged that it did so because it agrees with and wants to promote his politics.