Did you hear the surprising news? Oh, but you will. You will hear the lapdog media repeat this news over and over and gush about how great this news is.
President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.
The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.
Too early? Ya think? Talk about the audacity of hope, he was nominated after having been President for less than two weeks. So what was he nominated for? To give you an idea of the monumental work Obama accomplished to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize, here is a list of his actions as President as listed by Wikipedia:
- January 20 – Minutes after the administration of the Oath of Office, Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, issues an order suspending last-minute federal regulations pushed through by outgoing President George W. Bush, planning to review everything still pending. In one of his first official acts, President Obama issues a proclamation declaring January 20, 2009 a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation. Obama enacts a pay freeze for Senior White House Staff making more than $100,000 per year, as well as announces stricter guidelines regarding lobbyists in an effort to raise the ethical standards of the White House.
- January 21 – Obama revokes Executive Order 13233, which had been initiated by the Bush administration to limit access to the records of former presidents. At 7:35 EST on January 21, Obama retakes the Presidential Oath of Office, again administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, before four print journalists. Obama issues instructions to all agencies and departments in his administration to “adopt a presumption in favor” of Freedom of Information Act requests, reversing earlier policy set by former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
- January 22 – President Obama signs an executive order announcing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within a year, and signs a prohibition on using torture and other illegal coercive techniques, such as waterboarding, during interrogations and detentions, requiring the Army field manual to be used as a guide. He issues an executive order entitled “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel”, governing the limitations on hiring of employees by the executive branch to qualified individuals only, and placing very tight restrictions on lobbying in the White House.
- January 23 – Obama ends the funding ban for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, also known as the “gag rule” or the Mexico City Policy. He orders the first two Predator airstrikes of his presidency.
- January 24 – Obama produces his first weekly Saturday morning video address available on whitehouse.gov and YouTube, a policy compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats.
- January 26 – Obama signs his first two Presidential Memoranda concerning energy independence, directing the Department of Transportation to establish higher fuel efficiency standards before 2011 models are released and the allowing states to raise their emissions standards above the national standard. That night he gives his first formal interview as president to Al Arabiya.
- January 28 – Obama makes his first visit to The Pentagon as President, meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- January 29 – Obama signs his first bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which promotes fair pay regardless of sex, race, or age. Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in the employment discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. joined Barack and Michelle Obama at the signing ceremony.
- January 30 – Obama signs a presidential memorandum launching the Middle Class Working Families Task Force to be led by Vice President Joe Biden.
- January 31 – Obama speaks at the Alfalfa Club annual banquet.
So, did you spot the monumental accomplishments that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize? No, neither did I. This prize isn’t about actually having done something, it’s the hope that he will do something worthy of the prize.
“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. “In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations.”
I must admit that Obama is able to give a good speech when the teleprompter is present, and yet talking is not the same as doing. Looking at the two other sitting U.S. Presidents to get the same prize, I don’t see much of a comparison. President Theodore Roosevelt got the prize for mediating the peace between Russa and Japan after their war in 1904-1905. And President Woodrow Wilson got his in 1919 for creating the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations. And now in 2009, President Obama gets his for talking.
Somehow it doesn’t quite seem to measure up.
UPDATE (10/9/2009 10:01:20 AM): I have thought about it some more, and I believe this prize should be awarded not just to President Obama, but to both who have made it possible. The prize should be awarded to both Obama and his teleprompter.