President Obama awoke this morning to the news that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize and, just like everybody else, he was surprised and didn’t feel like he deserved to be among the likes of other winners in years past. He did a good job putting it into perspective, and since rejecting the award was not an option, I think he handled his new blessing/curse very well. Here’s what he had to say:
This piece from Joe Klein says what I want to say far better than I ever could:
Well, I’m as relieved as anybody that the Bushian gunslingers have been given the gate and, as regular readers know, I’m a big fan of patient, rigorous diplomacy–and there’s a certain lovely irony to any prize that brings the Taliban and the neoconservative Commentary crowd together in high dudgeon–but let’s face it: this prize is premature to the point of ridiculousness. It continues a pattern that holds some peril for Obama: he is celebrated for who he is not, and for who he might potentially be, rather than for what he has actually done. If he doesn’t provide results that justify the award, this Nobel will prove a millstone come election time.
There are two bad things about this: 1) Obama won out over people like Greg Mortenson, who has committed his life to setting up schools for women in places hostile to outsiders, women, and education alike; 2) this admittedly undeserved award will work to delegitimize any praise Obama receives, earned or otherwise, from here on.