Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize 

Well, that came out of the blue! What has he done to deserve it? (The last sentence, by the way, was my 16 year old daughter's reaction when I told her the news at breakfast.)

Actually, I think this event says a lot more about the Nobel Prize committee than it does about Barack Obama. According to one of the talking heads on Fox News Channel, the nominating deadline for the prize was 12 days after Mr. Obama was inaugurated. I have no idea who might have nominated Mr. Obama, but he clearly hadn't accomplished anything of note at that time, other than being elected, and preaching very nebulous "hope and change." That the Nobel folks would give serious consideration to a novice president suggests that the Peace Prize is much more about politics than merit.

In fact, at least in modern times it seems that if someone is elected (or maybe appointed) to high public office in the United States and then goes around the world bashing his homeland, that person is a shoo-in for the Peace Prize. Really. How else does one explain Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Barack Obama? USA bashing is certainly the biggest thing they have in common that sets them apart from other presidents and vice presidents.

Sadly (at least to me), this is one more example of how the once-prestigious and meaningful award has become cheapened by virtue of applying subjective rather than objective criteria in selecting the winner. It appears that talking the talk is a lot more important than walking the walk.

For next year I'll go out on a limb and predict the winner will be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his groundbreaking work on finally solving the Israel-Palestinian problem.

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