Nobel Prize less than noble for Obama

Nicole Stejskal

I have always been a firm believer in giving credit when credit is due. Too often, remarkable acts of integrity and goodwill go unnoticed and unrecognized, despite their impact on the lives they affect. However, in recent weeks, the world has witnessed credit from the opposite end of the spectrum – credit without merit, credit without results.

There is no question that President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize has been the latest source of controversy surrounding his presidency – and with good reason. Obama has undoubtedly made history in remarkable ways, and while I commend him for that, I believe things have gone entirely too far in the quest to establish Obama as the “next big thing.”

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not an Obama hater. In fact, I think his presidency will ultimately contribute a great deal to the change we need in our nation. However, I, as well as every other American, have yet to see those results. With all of the rumors circulating about the motivation behind the prize, I decided to do a little research into Obama’s prize and the history of the Nobel Foundation.

I was astounded (and frankly, quite appalled) by the press release regarding Obama’s Peace Prize issued by the Nobel Foundation. For starters, the release contained several spelling and agreement errors. Seriously? If the foundation is this careless in how the winners are announced, how can the public possibly trust the foundation’s committee members to carefully select the most deserving winner?

Additionally, the press release is hardly convincing of the legitimacy of the award, openly admitting that no other president, prime minister, chancellor or political world leader has won the prize so soon in his or her term. The release also stated that the selection committee “appears to be endorsing Obama’s appeal for greater multilateral cooperation aimed at tackling the thorniest global problems; conflict, nuclear weapons, climate change.” So essentially, the committee based its decision on what Obama is appealing to the public to do, not what he has actually done.

The press release also remarked that three other U.S. presidents have received the Nobel Peace Prize. Theodore Roosevelt, while also receiving the award during his term, served six years as president before the prize was awarded. Woodrow Wilson, the next in line to receive the prize, was in office for five years before he was recognized for his efforts. Jimmy Carter, the last president to be awarded the prize, was out of office for 21 years before receiving the award. Unlike those presidents, Barack Obama was only in office for 11 days when this year’s nominations closed and served less than 10 months of his presidency upon receipt of the prize. Need I say more?

On a final note, Alfred Nobel specifically stated in his will that Peace Prizes 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.” Nobel wanted the prize to recognize action, not a hope for action in the future. Awarding the prize to Obama right now is like giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the Miss America pageant winner for stating that her one wish is world peace. Simply put, it takes away everything noble about winning a Nobel prize.