Was Nobel Peace Prize pick a bit of a stretch?
Who are we to argue with Scandinavians?
But awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama in his freshman year as president of the United States seems a little like giving an Oscar to someone because we like what he says about acting.
It clearly reminds us that these Nobel honors are often less a recognition of accomplishment than a goad toward policies the judges want to encourage. Sometimes it’s also a needle prick toward an oppressive regime or someone it considers a bad actor politician.
Obama does deserve credit for reaching out to nations who had grown tired of the United States’ cowboy loner policies of the past eight years. We agree that words are important, and few are as eloquent as President Obama in exhorting the world to its better nature, to nobler ideals of peaceful coexistence built on cooperation.
But his rhetoric about a nuclear free world is not exactly a novel sentiment.
Simply, Obama has so far left more sound bites than definitive actions to measure his impact on the world. That will come. He grapples with two wars and specifically the possible deployment of more troops to Afghanistan. Everyday he is briefed on a Looney Tunes tyrant in North Korea and confounding leadership in Iran. China and Russia require constant vigilance, complicated by the fact that the Chinese hold the notes on a lot of U.S. debt.
As President Obama navigates these waters, will the Nobel medal be unneeded weight around his neck?
Can the president act first in the best interest of the United States with that piece of engraved metal egging him on from a glass case on his mantel?
We recommend that he quickly put this coveted Peace Prize in his sock drawer and, for now, pretend it never happened.
– The Times, Shreveport, La.