A few days ago I tweeted about how silly it is that Don Draper, Jon Hamm’s character on “Mad Men”, was voted as the most influential man of 2009, over people like Steve Jobs and Barack Obama. Well, it would seem that the folks at the Nobel committee took that to heart, because this morning we woke up to the extraordinary news that Obama was awarded this years Nobel Peace Prize.
OK, I’m a pretty hardcore Obama supporter (My “political views” field on facebook does read “Obamaniac”), but even I was pretty shocked to hear that. I (still) have faith that he will be the kind of President that will deserve this accolade (though doubts are seeping in). But the key part there is “will be”. He has not even begun to make inroads on the many challenges facing him. To give him a prize in anticipation of his accomplishments is pretty crazy.
Those who are using this to criticize Obama for this really need to take a look in the mirror. It’s not his doing that he is getting the award. In fact, I would bet that this is the last thing he wanted (certainly, it seems to be the last thing he needed, judging how this is adding just more fuel to the fire). The Nobel Peace Prize committee needs to be taken to task for getting starstruck and rewarding a promise. According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize should be awarded
“to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” (from Wikipedia).
I guess the committee forgot the “shall have done” part.
I would have preferred that Obama respectfully decline the award, but given the circumstances, I guess he handled it as best he could. What I do hope this whole thing does is jog him out of his current seemingly catatonic state on change (remember, the platform he was elected on?). The cynical (and somewhat unpatriotic) rhetoric from the right (and the equally acrid response by the left) should drive home the point that this bipartisan, middle of the road approach that he is taking has no shot. The right is not going to give him anything, not even able to congratulate him in the slightest, so he should just move and do what he believes is right. The American people gave him that power, and he should use it.
The Tweet Storm
Twitter was of course ablaze with reactions to the announcement, and you’ll find a whole lot of analysis of that all over the web and media. But I thought I’d collect the best reactions I saw in my tweetstream here in one place. Some of these are just brilliant.
- Aren’t winning the Nobel Peace Prize & bombing the moon in the same day mixed messages? – Evan S
- Not be outdone, Kantara Inititiative awards Obama a leftover IDDY found in back of closet. Category is ‘Indirectly Driving IDM Policy’ – Paul Madsen (OK, you need to be in my business to get that one)
- PBA names Barack Obama the 2010 bowler of year! – Andy Swan
- Very classy of @BarackObama to let @taylorswift13 accept the Nobel Peace Prize on his behalf. – Anil Dash
- Let’s see if Obama has the courage to talk about how white people dance during his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. – Joe Randazzo
- Breaking: Obama awarded #Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his “amazing chemistry with people everywhere.” (via Roy Price) – Mo Rocca