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October 9th, 2009 12:33 pm
Nobel Oblige
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There’s already been plenty of criticism leveled at this morning’s announcement that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize is going to President Obama — despite the fact that the nominating window closed 11 days into his presidency and he did not then (or for that matter now) have a single major foreign policy achievement under his belt.

What hasn’t received enough attention yet is the false humility of Obama’s Rose Garden remarks this morning on the prize.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

“But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build — a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents. And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action — a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.”

Good grief. So here we have the President essentially admitting that the award is a preemptive endorsement of the transformative nature of his time in office. This would be less bothersome if it were untrue. Unfortunately, the Nobel Committee (which has doled out prizes to the likes of Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, and Paul Krugman in recent years) has lost all trace of being a non-partisan organization.

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