Much to Be Humble About
Posted on October 9, 2009I imagine that when he first picked up the line, he thought it was a crank call.
“I won what?” he must have exclaimed.
But it is no joke. President Obama won his first Nobel Peace prize, for, well, being President Obama.
It seems that just the very idea of a President Obama is enough to make the Nobel Selection Committee swoon.
The President said he was humbled by this award. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, he has much to be humble about.
When it comes to peace, it is hard to see what notable accomplishments have been achieved thus far in the Obama Presidency. That is not a slap at him. Peace takes time.
It took John Hume and David Trimble about the 30 years of really hard and dangerous work in Northern Ireland before they got a Nobel Peace Prize. And despite all of that hard work, peace and reconciliation is still elusive in that region.
Mr. Obama hasn’t even been able to get a peace deal between Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, who continue to snipe at each other over the public option and Afghanistan.
Peace hasn’t exactly broken out in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, or Iran either.
Nobel Prizes usually go for some fairly notable accomplishments.
Nelson Mandela spent much of his life protesting apartheid and serving a prison sentence He was a man who deserved a Peace Prize.
Mikhail Gorbachev allowed the Soviet Union to collapse without much of a whimper. That was an accomplishment that deserved a Peace Prize.
But what exactly has President Obama done to deserve such an award? And if he actually does something in the future, does that mean he gets another one?
Apparently, the voting on the Peace Process started shortly after the President was sworn in. Perhaps he is getting the Peace Prize because of his inaugural address. Yep, a lot of people came to that speech, and peace mostly reigned on that day (except for those people who got stuck in the Purple tunnel in Washington). But I don’t think he deserves a Peace Prize for that.
I guess he got the Prize because he was elected President and he wasn’t George Bush. Well, if that is the case, maybe all of those millions of Americans who voted for him should share the prize, because they actually did most of the work. They voted.
As an American, I am proud that our President was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
Now, I would like to see him do something to earn it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Feehery.