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Dan Balz's Take

A Weighty Prize

By Dan Balz
The Nobel Peace Prize committee validated President Obama's standing as an international superstar who has transformed America's image around the world. Obama may now spend the rest of his administration trying to turn the lofty ideals that brought him the prize into concrete results on the many intractable problems still before him.

From every direction there was surprise that a president still in his first year in office with no major accomplishments internationally, save for the change in public opinion, would receive the prestigious award. In that sense, Obama may find this latest honor as much a burden as a benefit.

The announcement from Norway was a reminder that in his brief time on the national and international stage, Obama has been most successful at inspiring others and creating often out-sized expectations for what he can do. In the Rose Garden Friday morning, he described himself as "surprised and deeply humbled" by the award, arguing that he did not deserve it but would accept it as "a call to action" -- perhaps all the more urgent now to live up to the award.

The announcement proved to be as controversial as it was surprising. The breadth of reaction, from exuberant gratification in some quarters to scorn and dismissal in others, underscored the political divisions over the direction of Obama's policies and the sharply polarized impressions of his leadership -- to say nothing of how politicized the prize itself has become.

Mohamed Elbaradei, the director-general of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, said he could not think of anyone "more deserving of this honor." Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh argued that it was an attempt by elites in the world to encourage Obama "to emasculate the United States."

Obama has won international acclaim for attempting to chart a course that breaks dramatically with former president George W. Bush and there was little doubt among those on the right and left that the Nobel committee must have considered that as a major factor in its decision.

With his call for collective diplomacy and a humbler American style, Obama has drawn a rhetorical distinction between his style and the unilateral approach that marked a good portion of Bush's administration. As Obama put it at the United Nations last month, perceptions of Bush's approach and policies "fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism" that inhibited greater cooperation and support.

Those are the principles Obama says will guide him, but the rest of the world will still look to the United States for leadership. Obama's concrete actions ultimately will do more to determine whether the rest of the world comes along, and so far there has been only modest success there.

One question being asked Friday was whether the Nobel prize would help on that front. Another was whether the award, subtly or overtly, would influence the president as he weighs how to deal with dangerous problems in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and the Middle East.

William Galston, a former Clinton administration domestic adviser now at the Brookings Institutions, called the Nobel a great honor but also a potential burden for Obama, in large part because it was given for ideals rather than accomplishments. "Not only will he be judged in the future against this exacting standard, but also it may complicate some decisions, such as the one he must soon make concerning Afghanistan," he said.

What happens, Galston asked, if the president accepts the recommendations of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of forces in Afghanistan, for up to 40,000 more U.S. soldiers? Will Obama lose favor overseas for failing to live up to the ideals embodied in the peace prize? "While I hope that such considerations will not influence his decisions, they don't make his life any easier," Galston said.

Presidential historical Robert Dallek said: "The committee seems to have been saying, 'We had eight years without strong U.S. leadership for peace and now we have someone who will put the country's energies behind Middle East talks and nuclear arms control.' I think this will lift Obama's prestige and may make it easier for him to avoid escalation in Afghanistan."

White House officials would insist that Obama will make the decision about Afghanistan shorn of considerations about what the Nobel committee may represent. But the aura of the peace prize will be a constant presence in every action he now takes on the world stage and perhaps a reminder of the tradeoffs and contradictions inherent in charting a course toward the kind of world to which he aspires.

Many of Obama's goals enjoy widespread support, from preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons to resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians with a two-state solution to taking action to combat global climate change to -- the most ambitious goal of all -- the emergence of a world free of nuclear weapons (a aspiration enunciated two decades ago by former President Ronald Reagan).

But there is significant division over the means to those ends. For all the acclaim Obama has generated, domestically and internationally, conservatives argue that he has been too quick to apologize for past U.S. actions, too willingness to talk with enemies without demanding something in return, too indecisive in the face of difficult choices.

Obama hasn't had enough time to prove his critics wrong or to fulfill the expectations of his admirers, which is why even among his supporters there was a sense of surprise and even shock on Friday, a belief that the award was premature, a disservice and a potential liability.

Michael O'Hanlon, a national security analyst at Brookings, said he faults the Nobel committee, not Obama, for a decision that cheapens the prize, though he was quick to say the factors cited in the award are laudable. He added, "I don't think it helps him at all. He himself has seen the need this year to pivot from being an international pop star-like figure to establishing a more solid and pragmatic footing in foreign policy, and the award therefore actually risks setting the clock back a bit."

For all the prestige that comes from the Nobel Peace Prize, that is the risk for Obama, that it will slow that transition from setting out his ambitious and grand vision of a 21st century foreign policy to delivering on it region by region, issue by issue, as the clock ticks on his presidency.

Posted at 2:53 PM ET on Oct 9, 2009  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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Comments

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You swimmy heads are so far sucked into the vortex of the Beltway
you can not see what the rest of the world sees.... that just by
shutting down the Bush/Cheney "secret" torture centers around the
world was in itself worthy of the prize.

Name someone who has done anything like that and I'll show you a
distant second. In Argentina and Chili they ran out people to
torture and murder. There is another way to end it...

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 11, 2009 1:44 AM

There is some nutter posting at 5am!!..what on earth are you doing posting at 5am? are you in a bunker somewhere..Man, get a life, get some perspective, move on with your life...

Posted by: ruraledcomm | October 10, 2009 9:43 PM

President Barack Obama, now a Nobel laureate, sounds wonderful, keep on keeping on Mr.President, the nation is proud of you.

Posted by: ruraledcomm | October 10, 2009 9:39 PM

The prize cannot have been given because of anything that Obama did during his Presidency because the cut of date for nominations was just twelve days after he became President.

So one can either assume that the selection board is made up of morons (and they did select Arafat for the same prize) or that they hope to influence Obama's decision making.

The latter is of course most likely and is a total disgrace which makes the prize an embarrassment, and Obama would have done well to refuse it since it will now be an albatross around his neck.

http://tinyurl.com/obamalbatross

Mike

Posted by: redmike | October 10, 2009 5:33 AM

Thanks for posting

http://www.craigspr.org

Posted by: craigspr | October 10, 2009 1:51 AM

The political affirmation of Obama by Oslo is meaningless. It is an affirmation of hopelessness and despair for free nations.

The Quislings in Oslo need to go. They are in love with people like Arafat, Carter and Gore. It's an award from Looney Tunes to other Looney Tune characters. The Peace Prize is an annual cartoon.

Posted by: alance | October 10, 2009 1:31 AM

Captain O has also proposed an "aspirational" health care plan, with lots of grandiloquence but no details, which he outsourced to Congress.

Will he now win the Nobel Prize for Medecine?

Posted by: blackmage | October 10, 2009 1:19 AM


pbarnett52 said:
"The President is an honest and humble man"

Egads good buddy, where have you been?

.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 10, 2009 1:02 AM

Obama's credit card-sized resume, amplified by a fawning press, was of high enough quality to assume the most powerful position in the world. Why is the press now upset/puzzled he won an increasingly unimportant award like the Nobel Peace prize with nil accomplishments? Seems to me the Nobel committee only did what the major networks and newspapers have done for Obama the past 24 months.

Posted by: wizboman | October 9, 2009 11:53 PM

To: patrick4

Get your facts straight...Obama did NOT inherit this war from Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: ddnfla | October 9, 2009 11:44 PM

The word of God is better than the sword. Let us serve each other with no pay and we will all find peace and happiness.
shuttdlrl

Posted by: shuttdlrl | October 9, 2009 11:40 PM

That "HEAVY BURDEN" has a name...it's called "GUILT".

Posted by: ddnfla | October 9, 2009 11:38 PM

Wow! Thank God for thaat one. Maybe now those recurring nightmares about france not liking us will go away. God bless you Barack Obama!

Posted by: Leopold1 | October 9, 2009 11:36 PM

Living up to his campaign promises carries a higher burden than any prize, and President Obama hasn't begun to do that. I feel no pride in him receiving this "award", and have no pity if his shoulders are heavy. The heaviest element of his job is the truth, which he seems to ignore daily.

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | October 9, 2009 11:31 PM

Al-Qaida, Taliban and the Republican Party are the only entities opposing President Obama wining the Nobel Peace Prize. TRUE Three axis of evil!

Posted by: JHigginss | October 9, 2009 11:09 PM

It is clear that Mr. Balz like other nattering nabobs of negativism did not read either Nobel Committee announcement and explanation nor did he listen to President Obama's acceptance. Instead, Mr. Balz relied the worn out story formula of 2 parts negative and 1 part positive.

The President pointedly said the award winner is the American people and all others wanting and working for peace and a better future for mankind. He even said that he felt he did not deserve to be in the pantheon with the other peace prize winners.

The President is an honest and humble man and he expressed himself today with humility.
Mr. Balz chose to ignore these characteristics and the importance of peace price by engaging in cheap speculation about what the future might hold for the President.

My congratulations to the President for winning the Nobel Peace Prize an my congratulations to the American people for electing him President of the United States.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | October 9, 2009 10:52 PM

Obama is God's man on earth. So why are you surprised he won the Nobel Peace Prize? God wants peace on Earth, good will to all. Obama wants peace on Earth, healthcare for all.

Check it out. It's in your Bible.

Posted by: jkurts101 | October 9, 2009 10:33 PM

"I disagree fully. The Nobel for Obama means nothing in the sense of how he governs. Give me a break, working on problems, he would actually pause and ponder "But, would this taint my big golden prize I didn't ask for?" "

---

You are exactly correct, but I'd wager that reporters for the WaPo and other outlets will begin analyzing every one of Obama's subsequent decisions and actions against their belief that getting the Nobel prize will have "boxed him in" or "burdened" him.

And I'm sure that rightwingers will use the Nobel prize to argue that Obama is "too arrogant," or that he has "let it go to his head," or some other such nonsense.

Republicans and conservatives continue to push American politics into the realm of the absurd, ably assisted by the Balz's of the world.

Posted by: castanea | October 9, 2009 10:27 PM

As a friend of mine asked:

I wonder how many bombings Obama ordered on the day he wins the Nobel Peace Prize?

Perpetual war is perpetual peace. This is the message our so-called leaders want us to embrace deeply. Obama may have inherited his wars from our worst president ever, but he has proven enough the extent of his "peace" credentials since inauguration.

What a joke.

Posted by: patrick4 | October 9, 2009 10:26 PM

fgill1: "the removal of a psycopathic tyrant who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own citizens and even more of their neighbors?"

First off, when Saddam was slaughtering their neighbours the Iranians, your hero Ronald Reagan was actively helping him.

Secondly, the Iraqis themselves utterly reject the idea that Bush is their benefactor. All polls show they detest him. The shoe-thrower, who just got out of prison, is showered with marriage offers, and free houses and cars bought by fellow Iraqis. The Iraqi term for the US invasion and what followed translates as: "the Collapse".

Posted by: bourassa1 | October 9, 2009 10:16 PM

I disagree fully. The Nobel for Obama means nothing in the sense of how he governs. Give me a break, working on problems, he would actually pause and ponder "But, would this taint my big golden prize I didn't ask for?"

Posted by: yarbrougharts | October 9, 2009 10:10 PM

Like I said the Kanye Wests' are trying to snatch the victory and the moment from the winner even before the Pres made his acceptance speech. What a bunch of hypocrites and Jockasses

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 9, 2009 9:54 PM

I'm embarrassed for the WaPo--but just a little bit--that so much of its reporting today has been critical of Obama winning a Nobel prize.

These are the same folks who turned the trip to Copenhagen into a lose-lose proposition. Now they are promoting the same "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" meme with today's news. Obama wins a prestigious award and suddenly it's a "burden" that will "box him in."

When the health care reform bill passes Congress and contains either a decent public option, or the framework for the option to be added in the future, I'm sure that Balz, et al., will paint it as a huge failure for Obama.

Liberal media my a55.

Posted by: castanea | October 9, 2009 9:53 PM

Like I said the Kanye Wests' are trying to snatch the victory and the moment from the winner even before the Pres made his acceptance speech. What a bunch of hypocrites and Jockasses

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 9, 2009 9:49 PM

A burden?

The author of this piece is aware the man is also the POTUS, right?

Check that - POTUS, sadled with the worst circumstances an incoming POTUS has ever seen?

I think he can handle an award.

Posted by: mmax | October 9, 2009 9:45 PM

Peace is a nice dream and it doesn't exist. The chess game is a simple illustration of this fact plus all the games we love to play from a tennis match at Wimbledon to the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. It really is all the same stuff: being the winner and the opponent the looser. As such the Nobel Peace Prize is nonsense.

Posted by: ridagana | October 9, 2009 9:19 PM

Only in America could we turn our President and our country getting the Nobel Peace Prize into a bad thing.

We should all proud of our President and our country getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

Congratulations to President Obama and to the good old US of A!!!

USA! USA! USA!

YAY!!!!

Posted by: RealityBeatsPerception | October 9, 2009 9:14 PM

"Obama may now spend the rest of his administration trying to turn the lofty ideals that brought him the prize into concrete results on the many intractable problems still before him." Shouldn't he be doing just that?

Posted by: NCindependentthinker | October 9, 2009 8:24 PM


Frankly, Obama doesn't deserve the Nobel Prize at this time. He hasn't accomplished anything positive yet.

But if he gets our sorry butts out of Afghanistan as soon as possible (immediately!), They can ship him a boatload of Nobels.

Posted by: surfer-joe | October 9, 2009 8:24 PM

Always Remember "THE PEACEKEEPERS" 241 Marines KIA on Oct.23,1983 in Beirut,Lebanon while they slept. By an Iran backed Hezbollah Jihadist.

The media has built up all this we Hate America propaganda. Got news for you it works both ways. We are attacked and attacked by the same ENEMIES that attack Europe.

How many of the countries that cry for us when we are attacked send troops to help? The world knows the truth about America. The French can walk to one of many cemetaries where 1000's of Americans are buried.

Korea hated us since 1951. Iran has called us the Great Satan since 1979. Iraq was our ENEMY while Clinton was president. Russia has been a problem since WWII.

After Sept.11,2001 we finally went on the offensive. Went into Iraq because of WMD'S, IRAN'S IRAN'S IRAN'S. Like it or not, being in Iraq. Could turn out to be one of the greates military manuevers in history!!!!!

So how ironic the great "SPEECH GIVER" gets a prize for PEACE. When the rest of the world, that REALLY HATES us gets ready for WAR. There is a reason Korea and Iran have been testing their missle systems. Cranking up the old Nuclear facilities. This has all been the test Biden talked about.

But if the "SPEECH GIVER" gives a few more lets treat each other with mutual respect sermons, it will all be OK. LMAO!!! The countries he wants to change show their own PEOPLE NOOOO RESPECT.

Posted by: 79USMC83 | October 9, 2009 8:18 PM

Those who say President Obama hasn't done enough yet to deserve the Nobel Peace prize have amnesia.

Who was the only major presidential candidate of either party to oppose the Iraq War from the beginning?

Not Hillary. Not McCain. Not Romney. Not Edwards.

"Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time" wasn't that how he phrased it?

Barack Obama was the only one of the candidates to be against the Bush/Cheney/War from the beginning. Only Obama sniffed out the fallacy of the WMD snake oil argument they perpetrated on the American people.

If that doesn't qualify one for the Nobel Peace Prize what does?

I rest my case.

Posted by: dlemon1 | October 9, 2009 7:49 PM

sadly some politicians could not muster the facade of peace; their attitudes encompass the very opposite of any virtuous goals _ so their supporters vent as if the president bestowed this prize unto himself ... enough of this negativity this president has reached across the isle more than what’s been reciprocated.

Posted by: aypub | October 9, 2009 7:22 PM

bourassa1 wrote:

"It seems to me it was the Iraqis who had to bear the heaviest consequences of the last US president's decisions."

Do you include among those consequences the removal of a psycopathic tyrant who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own citizens and even more of their neighbors? But I guess even he - maybe even Hitler - is better than George Bush?

Hopefully this will hasten the demise of this ridiculous award. This is the equivalent of awarding the Nobel Prize in literature to a first grade student for finally learning his ABC's. Worse, since Obama has yet to learn his diplomatic ABC's.

Posted by: fgill1 | October 9, 2009 7:04 PM

I don't understand why the people of this coutry are so negative and resentful. You people are pigs in the mud trying to throw dirt on the giraffe. And you are not fooling anyone.

Posted by: slovelace | October 9, 2009 6:32 PM

Dang, I always thought hard work was rewarded. I wish we could have had the Olympics in Chicago. I could have won a gold medal by running 3 feet and then just talk about how I can run the rest of the way.

Posted by: Moon54 | October 9, 2009 6:13 PM

The Nobel Committee has beclowned themselves yet again.
Another meaningless award by 5 meaningless Norwegians.

Posted by: websterr1 | October 9, 2009 6:12 PM

There is a group that is fighting to stop underage girls from being sold as brides in Muslim Country. One young girl, 12 years old, died after days of labor.

This group, and so many others who have for years toiled in actual adverse situations and have concrete accomplishments, were insulted today.

The Oslo Oompahs want to dictate our foreign policy to their benefit. Norway is an oil producing country. They want to destroy the US oil production. They want to personally profit from cap-and-tax legislation. These idiots are already buying and selling -- like hedge funds-- pollution credits.

This was not an earned award. It is a shameful day in world history. It is not Obama's fault, it is the radicals of the Nobel Committee.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | October 9, 2009 5:56 PM

The Norwegian Nobel Committee asked themselves : -Can we find a more ridiculous winner than Al Gore? They all answered: -Yes, we can!

Posted by: magnusdahl | October 9, 2009 5:48 PM

qball43: "I hope and expect that the President of the United States will make decisions that are in the best interest of this country and not be influenced by the opinions of a European awards committee. He, and we in the US, not those overseas, will have to bear the consequences of his decisions."

Really?

It seems to me it was the Iraqis who had to bear the heaviest consequences of the last US president's decisions.

Posted by: bourassa1 | October 9, 2009 5:30 PM

O'Bama the Divider, the Apoliger, the Unwise is who this man, not a leader, personifies.

He has tried for over 8 months and made promises for over a year and a half and not kept one or accomplished one of his goals.

The only thing this man has been able to do is arrange a Wrightist-bent, self-proclaimed ''teachable moment'' meeting for a white fireman from Massachussets, and liberal Harvard professor from his Alma Mater and himself.

It took half a year to pick a dog, be did accomplish this also.

But everything else this man has done is and has been about polarizing America, not only by and along party lines, but further through the affects of his own words, divide Americans into racial groups.

Thinly veiled even for the very dimwitted, O'Bama spending agendas appear to be geared to those very people, 95% of the black vote, who elected the junior Senator from the very core of politics and corruption -a Chicago-based political machine and society he hails from.

So what is this peace award for?... we must all ask ourselves of a very liberal Swedish Nobel committee, known for some of its past outrageous Nobel winner picks...Al Gore -the one on record who claimed he invented the internet, Jimmy Carter, Yasser Arafat...

Another shame for Americans. A Nobel prize, a dog picked, speeches read off of telepromotors written by his crony handlers, and past racist comments. Thesa are so far O'Bama accomplishments.

Destruction of America as a nation, its moral and social fabric, creations of new division by race and wealth, destruction of America as a global moral and military steward are all what O'Bama will go down in history for.

Save us from this ultimate fake, this ultimate Chameleon and his crony Clintonite/Wrightist administration.

Posted by: Accuracy | October 9, 2009 5:24 PM


Carter, Gore, and Obama have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Looking fishy.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 9, 2009 5:22 PM

For the Nobel Committee, this was a down payment, an investment and a bet on future achievement. The President knows it and realizes that he is now bound to deliver on his vision of a clean, peaceful and nuclear-free world.

Well done Nobel Peace Prize Committee!
Your work is now cut out for you, Mr. President!

Posted by: dossevi | October 9, 2009 5:19 PM

The WASP culture has a real problem of accepting a black POTUS who can also be awarded a Nobel Peace Price! Why?

Posted by: hariknaidu | October 9, 2009 5:18 PM

I think this is what Obama really thinks about the award: "Why do they give me the gold medal in a marathon race when we have only covered a yard? This will be a liability but I can't refuse a prize of this dignity, that would be an insult, so I have to smile and say I'm happy."

Posted by: erik031 | October 9, 2009 5:17 PM

I think the analysis above is correct: the prize will indeed be a burden and actually inhibit Obama in his peace efforts (a Messiah is always fun in books but when they turn up on your front yard you tend to want to nail them up on a cross).

When he got such friends as in the Norwegian Nobel Committee he doesn't need any more enimies. The Norwegian are really politically naïve.

Posted by: erik031 | October 9, 2009 5:09 PM

His campaign leading to the President alone, should merit the prize. Like millions of Americans, President Obama's election night win made me proud once again to be American. After 8 years of being lied to, bullied, arrogantly tossed aside for the rich, Americans were sick to death of the Bush years and were embarrassed by Bush's horrible decisions. Not to say President Obama might make bad decisions also, but I don't think anyone in the history of the US could ever make as many bad decisions as Bush did. How many people respected Bush other then republicans? How many people respect Obama? Respect is and always will be the key ingredient to America and it's standard as the leader in the free world. Without respect we have nothing.

Posted by: kubrickstan | October 9, 2009 5:08 PM

"HE GOT IT BECAUSE THOSE SMART AND VERY LEARNED PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP THE COMMITTEE BELEIEVED THAT OBAMA IS THE BEST CHANCE FOR PEACE WE, HAVE AT THE MOMENT, IDIOT!"

No. He only got it because they simply cannot get beyond their hatred for Bush.
This was ALL about Bush, not Obama.

Besides, just what is "peace"? Is it sitting down with the Taliban and agreeing to let them run Afghanistan? Just what morality does that imply?

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | October 9, 2009 5:00 PM

I should get nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics. I plan on someday researching and talking about quarks existance inside hadrons by color changes in force fields, and calculating the mass of a hadron that gets it's contributions from quark kinetic energy that creates potential energy due to the interactions between them. I plan on sometime in the near future to calculate what happens to a quark when struck by a high energy photon, and the behavior of quarks in high energy enviroments. Since I have voiced my intentions, and I don't have to really do anything, I should be a shoe-in for the Nobel Prize.

Posted by: Moon54 | October 9, 2009 4:57 PM

Gee, now that we have President Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hope of the World, Messiah, why do we even need another election? Let's just ammend the Constitution and make Obama President for life.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | October 9, 2009 4:53 PM

Repubs! HATRED blinds you so you don't see why they decided to give it to Obama.

I always wondered how Hannity, Limbaugh, Palin, Coulter type of people sleep at night. I mean they got so much work of spreading hatred around until the world just self-destruct. Surely that is what Satan wants, I suppose ? Right? Perhaps, those get their hatred-battery recharged in their sleep at the courtesy of Satan.

Posted by: thisworld | October 9, 2009 4:53 PM

Clearly the Nobel people are impressed by lofty rhetoric read off teleprompters and incessant apologies for the terrible role Obama believes the US has played in the world. In fact the Prize is awarded to "leaders" whose good intentions impress Norwegian leftwingers. Arafat got a Peace Prize too.

Posted by: mhr614 | October 9, 2009 4:50 PM

It is a vote of confidence from the international community. As rookie of the year, here is the prize, now earn it by continuing to be open minded and a peacemaker.

Posted by: Beacon2 | October 9, 2009 4:48 PM

Liberals : educated, civilised, generally calm and controlled

Repubs/conservative(another name for white supremacists) : Always reddish in the face from the internal anger and hatred boiling over, aggressive, always using simple, elementary two-way process type of arguments(eg. 'If you are not with us, then, you must be against us') which I call a kindergarden dichotomy and hate Obama

All the ills of the USA have been created by these sub-standard species who just love hating, hating and some more hating..

Posted by: thisworld | October 9, 2009 4:47 PM

I find it hilarious that right-wingers think that ONLY right wingers have a right to live in the United States and the rest of us should pack off for Canada/Europe. For those of you that missed the memo, there are places that would be happy to provide a government that doesn't tax, doesn't have entitlement programs, doesn't have trade unions, won't provide abortions, have nothing BUT prayer in schools, persecutes gay and immigrants (while squeezing all the work out of them at the same time) and already has plenty of American traditions there like prohibition.

I am stunned that Rush hasn't parted the Atlantic Ocean yet for all you conservatives to drive your Hummers over to.......

....drumroll....


....SAUDI ARABIA!!! (They don't even have DMVs; maybe that whould be their new slogan...)

Posted by: mabkhar | October 9, 2009 4:47 PM

If only this award would be a spur to Obama and his team to actually accomplishing and achieving vs. their modus operandi of campaigning
and substituting process for real problem solving.

---------

The biggest obstacle to moving forward and achieving is that Obama rightly wants the nation to do it together, and about half of us just won't have it, no matter what the issue is. You don't have to read very far down this page to realize that this is the case. If he's guilty of anything, it's that he's still optimistically clinging to the hope that Americans will eventually grow up and act like adults.

Posted by: ponkey | October 9, 2009 4:46 PM

Congratulations to Barack Obama.He is renewing the respect that our great country lost around the world under the Bush/Cheney administration. He faces a never ending drone from the party of NO and continues to move forward. He is steadfast in his goal to seek peace and stability for all people.

Obviously the Nobel committee dd not give this award for what he has done, they gave it for what he has inspired. GoBama !

Posted by: eSPO1 | October 9, 2009 4:44 PM

Billw3 ask:
Where were Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, FDR, Churchill, the British people, the American soldier?

------

pokey replied:
"Fighting a war because you're forced to is not the same thing as working toward peace. It's honorable in its own way, and it's honored in its own way, too. It has nothing to do with this, though."

Not forced, obligated. And it sure as hell did bring peace. Thousands died. You have a strange view by using the word forced.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 9, 2009 4:41 PM

NOBEL PANEL TO 'SEVEN DAYS IN MAY' GENERALS AND AGENCY DIRECTORS:

WE ARE ONTO YOU AND THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Could that be what Obama's winning the peace prize is REALLY all about?

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA" (see "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 9, 2009 4:39 PM

You don't get why the Nobel Committee awarded the prize to Obama ?

Then, you may as well forget the whole thing and don't question it because you obviously lack the capacity for insights and perceptive analysis.

HE GOT IT BECAUSE THOSE SMART AND VERY LEARNED PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP THE COMMITTEE BELEIEVED THAT OBAMA IS THE BEST CHANCE FOR PEACE WE, HAVE AT THE MOMENT, IDIOT!

Posted by: thisworld | October 9, 2009 4:37 PM

I also love when the liberals talk about Sarah Palin who is no rocket scientist but Joe Biden is the monkey they send into orbit.
Is this guy the dumbest, most stupid, human waste of a person.

Posted by: dbonade | October 9, 2009 4:36 PM

Yes, the President's promise is in the future, not the past, but there's no difference in the Great Scheme of Things, is there? The gentleman is to be congratulated, especially in recognition of the humility of his acceptance. Additionally, my staff had heard a distinguished Indian swami was on the short list, the Maharushi. Nevertheless, such an individual is not registered in the All-India Directory of Recognised Holy Persons. This would appear to be either a hoax or, possibly, an unrealised reincarnation.

Posted by: surendranathyogi | October 9, 2009 4:36 PM

Obama will be a one term president.He has,since he interedthe race for President,had everything handed to him on a silver platter.He had no clue as to the magnitude of the job he ws running for.Receiving this presteigis award is just another example of people's misplaced worship of him.I am not a Republican,but I can see where this is heading.There is far more to being President than making speeches.Which is all this man is capable of doing.Looking forward to 2012.

Posted by: nannieturner | October 9, 2009 4:33 PM

If only this award would be a spur to Obama and his team to actually accomplishing and achieving vs. their modus operandi of campaigning
and substituting process for real problem solving.

My biggest fear about this award is it will confirm the modus operandi currently in place as effective in keeping poll numbers and personal populularity high while actual governance continues to be put on the back burner. Governing is hard work and requires you lose one once in while.

Enough of the awards and accolades; let's get to being a President and a leader; someone who make a few enemies, takes a few body blows and isn't afraid to lose a battle or two for fear of losing a few points in a poll.

I reallyl don't care how the Swedes feel about our President; I do care how much he feels for the average citizen and the problems they continue to face while he and his Administration keep campaigning and running around the world making speeches.

Posted by: bobfbell | October 9, 2009 4:32 PM

If the Nobel Peace Prize Committee members
believe that Obama transformed America's image around the world, then, they should establish a "Nobel Global Ignorance Prize" and award it to themselves.

Obama surely started with a rhetoric that made the world believe that he was about to break away from George Bush's warmongering and bigotrous global behavior,
but by now - 10 months later- he is still driving Bush's foreign policy without any turns. Some of his rhetoric is different, but beyond the rhetoric, he is still
in George Bush's kitchen of diplomacy, and uses George Bush's recipes.

With the exception of some domestic programs changes in the offing, the external U.S. policy is still 99% intact,
and his rhetoric has proved to be ineffectual, like in Jewish Settlements - for example.

Does Obama have any peace achievement in the bag to deserve a Prize? None, whatsoever! Does he talk about peace? Sure, but is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded for achievements, or just for cheap talk that is the hallmark of every politician?

Has Obama changed the U.S. image around the world? Not at all, especially where it matters most, in the Muslim world and in the Arab world, and certainly not in Latin America. The only thing Baraq Obama differs from George Bush is the degree of the "might is right arrogance." But that is nothing that promoted or achieved any peace, and the peace prize award was just
a goofy decision by a committee who is probably disconnected from the rest of the world - besides Europe and the U.S.
Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Posted by: Nikos_Retsos | October 9, 2009 4:30 PM

Well, those who do not like Obama will criticize him for anything anyway, even things which other people do.

Just looke at the reaction of those stupid Republicans. Who are they to question the integrity of the Nobel Committee who decided to ward the Prize to President Obama? It is just laughable. Integrity? Did I hear that right somewhere? Well, obviously the likes of Sarah Palin and their sub-standard human species do not understand the meaning of that word. Even with a dictionary(they can only read tabloid magazines, you see). Obama can never please those, so he might as well please his own supporters and himself!

BTW, bravo President Obama, WE LOVE YOU!!!!

Posted by: thisworld | October 9, 2009 4:29 PM

Where were Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, FDR, Churchill, the British people, the American soldier?

------

Fighting a war because you're forced to is not the same thing as working toward peace. It's honorable in its own way, and it's honored in its own way, too. It has nothing to do with this, though.

Posted by: ponkey | October 9, 2009 4:28 PM

I love the liberals who say "Republicans, Name Sayers" when this award was already already talked about before he was even elected. Did anyone of the liberal;s hear the Boo's from the audience when Obama's name was mentioned. They were appalled that only after 12 days this rookie came into office with no better plans then George Bush could have even been considered. Obama has failed in EVERYTHING he hsa done except giving money away which even Robert Gibbs could do. Now there's a jerkoff. Pathetic attempt by mindless wonder in an empty suit.

Posted by: dbonade | October 9, 2009 4:26 PM

Honestly, I don't get this..I'm not just spewing anti-Obama hate.. I just don't understand the award.

Posted by: newbeeboy | October 9, 2009 4:25 PM

Amazing to this reader that critics of President Obama have been screaming so loudly for the entire 9-1 /2 months of his first year in office that his actions are setting the US on a dangerous course toward socialism and perceived American weakness--Only to claim now, when his actions result in a Nobel prize, that he hasn't actually done anything at all. Even the author of this article, Dan Balz, seems to miss the importance of Obama's success in effecting a change in the way the US is perceived by the rest of the world. And the president didn't accomplish this through "pop star" status, as is implied in this article, but rather through unprecedented public statements and actions demonstrating that this country will earnestly and honestly engage other nations, even those with whom we have enormous differences of opinion. The significance of Obama's having created a sea change in global perception of the United States cannot be overstated. Perhaps this is lost on many Americans, who are unaware of the enormous influence the US has on so many other nations.

Posted by: juno11 | October 9, 2009 4:21 PM

Oh, Rush...how your child like mind and coconut like intellect make me laugh so.

Rush, before you start castigating anyone for anything related to emasculation, I would worry about your own decidedly lack of masculinity. Your thrice married, drug addicted, dump truck size body is the epitome of self emasculation. Tell us how emasculating to be so bovine-like as to not even be able to see yourself take a whizz?

Thought so

Posted by: Nosh1 | October 9, 2009 4:21 PM

The words are different but the underlying message of the right-winger posts are all the same:

I'm depressed.
I gained weight.
My face broke out.
I'm nauseous.
I'm constipated.
My feet swelled.
My gums are bleeding.
My sinuses are clogged.
I've got heartburn.
I'm cranky.
I hate Obama more than life.
And I have gas.

(to quote Rosanne Rosannadanna)

Posted by: Salt-water | October 9, 2009 4:19 PM

MOMLEE in her comment says, referring to Pres. Obama, "this socialist, communist belongs in Europe."

It's too bad we don't have a place to send the likes of you MOMLEE. Someplace where the unintelligent and uninformed can stand around in groups waving their tea-bags and guns.

Posted by: ethereal_reality | October 9, 2009 4:17 PM

CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA!

It looks like the republicans and other naysayers have jumped on the Negativity Train again. There have not learned the old adage "if you can not say something nice about someone do not say anything at all".
I am very proud of out President. WOOO HOOO!

Posted by: melodymg | October 9, 2009 4:15 PM

I guess he can commit the troops.. now that the award has been announced.. wondered what he was waiting for.

Posted by: newbeeboy | October 9, 2009 4:15 PM

People can argue whether this prize was deserved or not, what I want to know is can the President of the United States legally accept a gift from a foreign entity while a member of the Executive Branch?

It seems to me that Title 5 prohibits monetary gifts in virtually any amount, let alone $1.4 million dollars.

Posted by: magellan1 | October 9, 2009 4:14 PM

Rush Limbaugh's concern that the Noble Peace prize awarded to President Obama underscores how European elite are interested in emasculating the United States is humorous. The U.S. was emasculated long ago when Bill Clinton became president.

Posted by: rgn1 | October 9, 2009 4:13 PM


Op cit
The Nobel Peace Prize is almost a joke. Too many people who actually brought peace through years of hard work and sacrifice were left out. Where were Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, FDR, Churchill, the British people, the American soldier? Sometimes wars have to be fought to bring peace, but those who fight them and sometimes die have not received the Nobel Peace Prize. It is too often awarded to those who aspire and promise great things, NOT to those who actually sacrifice and sometimes die for peace.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 9, 2009 4:09 PM

Nothing President Obama ever does or doesn't do will be good enough for those haters on the far right. There will never be peace in the world as long as these voices of hate continue to spout the nonsense we've been hearing so much of lately. Take a moment and be proud that YOUR President has received this honor.

Posted by: mspachy | October 9, 2009 4:07 PM

CONGRATS TO THE "LIAR IN CHIEF" FOR YET ANOTHER TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE PROPELLED ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE STUPID EUROPEANS WHO HAVE THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND.

Posted by: dbonade | October 9, 2009 4:05 PM

Everyone in the world is affected by this President's actions, and bear the consequences. The idea that only we in the United States suffer because of any President's bad decisions is ludicrous.

Inspiring hope in a world drenched in misery is no small thing.

Posted by: reussere | October 9, 2009 4:02 PM

Now we know, this is just politics and game, no more prize. People corrupted NOBLE Man's money for nothing.

Posted by: niranjan61 | October 9, 2009 4:01 PM

Jabberwolf: your reply to ruraledcomm is all too emblematic of the knee jerk verbal hooliganism that passes for debate these days. Reasonable minds can disagree whether or not the prize was deserved. I certainly have no quarrel, at least not to the extent that I would question or challenge someone's intelligence or sense of balance, with anyone who would argue it was not deserved, at least at this stage in the presidency. But you clearly didn't read the post. Or, if you did, you weren't really inclined to consider what was written. The question is, are you angry or annoyed that the president received this recognition? Your reply is answer enough. So why are you angry or annoyed? If undeserved, that fact reflects badly on the prize committee, not the president. It remains an honor, to the president, the office he holds, and to our country. There's a fine line between sour grapes and Jim Jones' kool aid. Comments like yours tell me you tripped over it along time ago.

Posted by: atullar | October 9, 2009 3:59 PM

Congratulations, Mr. Obama! You are conducting yourself with dignity, intelligence and courage. You have inherited a real mess, but are doing your very best in a steady, solid way. And the way you deal with the stupidity of the republicans is a tribute to self-control and wisdom.

Posted by: ib422000 | October 9, 2009 3:58 PM

After 11 days to be nominated is insane. This socialist, communist belongs in Europe not in america. Please give me a break. He can now give Chicago a huge donation. The best place for the money would be to reduce the debt he incurred. Mr. TV is a do nothing president who will tax us to death.

Posted by: MOMLEE | October 9, 2009 3:53 PM

The prize causes stir. Know this: Givers give it, Receiver will take it. If you ask, Why? A simple suggestion could also be how the venom, hatred and violence-laced threats that the President had to endure (which he did so smoothly by completely ignoring those who exercised their right of remaining stupid in their lives) - and the equally hated Europeans likely recognize dthat single achievement.

It's no big deal that POTUS is awarded the prize. He appreciates and knows his stature with self-respect and mutual respect for all, regardless how the haters may hate his skills and the cool. Get over it folks, you are re-living the "loss" of Nov 2008 yet again. At least for now you are off the loss band-wagon about the Olympics 2016. Just be happy that over a million dollars will go into public charity, which is much deserved after the looting of resources over the last 8 long years under the previous administration.

Posted by: mdkp2000 | October 9, 2009 3:52 PM

Obama can make it the Region of Peace. Draft 2 million men and invade Iran. Then surround and blockade Pakistan to give up its nukes and bin Laden. That is the way to peace. Obama can say his Cairo speech was a call to peace to Iran and Pakistan to give up their nuclear ambitions but that they would not. Iran and Pakistan have both engaged in hostile attacks on the US in my view.

We need to take their nukes from them before they have subs off our coasts with nuclear missiles. Some want to blame Israel and think the way to do it is to have a sub flotilla off our coasts from the mini nuclear powers working together against the Great Satan. That is a big mistake. We need to keep this a region of peace. We do that by denuking them before they have subs with nukes here.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | October 9, 2009 3:48 PM

Velvet handcuffs. I guess we won't be bombing for peace in Iran anytime soon. Some in Israel must be furious and others relieved.

Posted by: Beacon2 | October 9, 2009 3:47 PM

"The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1, meaning the president was nominated after being in office for just 11 days. "

Posted by: Repcon1 | October 9, 2009 3:46 PM

Being an international superstar, transforming the image of the US around the world and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee.

Posted by: tylerlang | October 9, 2009 3:45 PM

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize........

just like Arafat did,

and for the same reasons.

Posted by: JaxMax | October 9, 2009 3:41 PM

ruraledcomm

If you think that Obama deserves the Nobel peace prize for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, then something is seriously wrong with you.

He has made absolutely no policy change aside from endorsing a Honduras socialist leader that was kicked out for violating his countries constitution.

You seriously thinks he deserves the award over many others that have spent their lives, and put themselves in danger, for the sake of peace?

ruraledcomm, you speak of party lines, you are obviously blinded by yours!

Posted by: jabberwolff | October 9, 2009 3:38 PM

Said it before, will say it again, if you are annoyed or angry that the President of the United States of America has received recognition for working towards global peace, then there is something seriously wrong with you..irrespective of party lines, it is a proud day for Americans..

Posted by: ruraledcomm | October 9, 2009 3:30 PM

I hope and expect that the President of the United States will make decisions that are in the best interest of this country and not be influenced by the opinions of a European awards committee. He, and we in the US, not those overseas, will have to bear the consequences of his decisions. I hope he isn't so weak or vain that he will let his head be turned by this obvious attempt at flattery. The results could be disastrous.

Posted by: qball43 | October 9, 2009 3:29 PM

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