I think Saturday Night Live summed this Nobel Peace Prize business up best when Seth Meyers said that Obama won the prize for not being George Bush. At this point, it is all he has done other than promise a whole heck of a lot and have a lot of meetings and discussions about what he would like to have done.
That being said, I understand, as do most rational clear headed people, that there is a lot involved when shutting down Guantanamo Bay, bringing about health care reform and ending the war in Iraq. He’s got a lot on his plate and has a lot he wants to get done while in office. He brought many ambitious plans with him when he assumed office and while I appreciate the world and some powerful decision makers in Norway for recognizing his idealistic views and non-Bush-esque-ness, I also think awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize less than a year into his presidency and with none of his goals accomplished is a little … rash. No offense to Obama, but if I were one of the others being considered, I would be offended.
That being said, I find it interesting that none of the people involved in the decision making process for the Nobel Peace Prize are actually informed about peace matters. A man interviewed on NPR, I did catch his name, but I was driving, wasn’t able to write it down and at this point, have long forgotten it, was commenting that he found it odd that the people involved in this decision are incredibly uninformed about what people are doing in the world to bring about peace. My argument would be a heck of a lot more solid if I were to remember his name, but I’m going to believe that he’s right on this one since their decision seems to support that hypothesis.
And, at this point, I think my friend Liz, who worked selflessly for 2 years in the Peace Corp. has done more than Obama to deserve this award. And I’m sure there are many other people who has toiled for ten times as long and are completely unrecognized for their work.
I love Obama. I’m a huge fan. If he and Jon Stewart and Marc Savard had a child, I would have eyes for no other. But I am not blindly smitten. Hopefully in the years to come he will bring about much change, much of the change he has talked about. And maybe after all that, he would be deserving of this prize. But at this point, I feel like it belittles and discredits Alfred Nobel and his foundation more than celebrates Obama. And I think all should be celebrated.