Leslie Cook

Does Barack Obama Deserve a Nobel Prize?

In Black America, In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts on October 14, 2009 at 1:42 am

nobelEarly on Friday morning, October 2, 2009, the Nobel Committee surprised the world by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize on a relatively young, relatively green, President of the United State. To say that the world was shocked is an understatement. I saw the news at about 4:30am PDT. I too was shocked. My first response was “Why?”. President Obama has been in office about 9 months. Prior to that, he did good works in his community, was a U.S. Senator for a while and an Illinois legislator for a while. Yes, it is an amazing thing for an African American man to rise in politics to the highest office in the land. But does he deserve a Nobel Peace Prize?

Driving to work, I remained puzzled. I listened to the new, the political pundits, and President Obama himself. All seemed surprised and puzzled. Did the Nobel Committee make a mistake? Did they issue the award for expected success? Today, 4 of the 5 Nobel judges spoke out about why they made their choice. Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said that Mr. Obama’s efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and to scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe were the reasons they selected him for the prize this year. This seems like a reasonable response to the question. Basically, in 9 months Mr. Obama has helped to bring the world closer together. Impressive, if true.

Let me state up front that I’m a flaming liberal and that I like President Obama a lot. When he won the election late last year, I couldn’t control my crying. It was an earth-shattering experience to have actually witnessed the legitimate election of an African American to the Presidency. I thought I’d see it in my lifetime. I didn’t realize it would happen so soon. Let me also state that I didn’t think that he was quite ready for office until he gave his “race” speech early last year. At that point, I knew that he could lead a nation, hopefully out of the negative malaise that we’ve been experiencing for the past 8 years.

On Friday, I thought that the Nobel Committee had made a big mistake. I believed that they should have waited to see if President Obama would actually walk on water, rather than handing him an award for dipping his toe in the water. Today, I think that he may actually deserve the award, and here are my top reasons for that belief.

  1. Anyone who was willing to take on the office of President of the United States at the end of 2008 deserves a peace prize. If John McCain had one, he should have gotten one too. Let’s look at what Mr. Obama took on by agreeing to become President. The financial markets were in disarray. The country was heading toward what most experts thought would be a depression as devastating as the great depression in the 1930’s. Real Estate prices were going though the floor. Home prices in some locations lost 20% of their value. People were losing their homes, their jobs, and consumer confidence was at an all-time low. Health care costs were at an all-time high. We were involved in 2 wars, both of which had gone on too long. Our U.S deficit was at the highest level since Truman (http://zfacts.com/p/318.html). I know I wouldn’t want that job. I think anyone that accepts that job should get some kind of award…the Nobel Prize will do.
  2. Worldwide, Obama did bring hope to certain nations. You could see it when he arrived at the G20 Summit in April. Granted, there are tons of countries that still don’t like Obama or the United States, but I think I’ll get far fewer questions in Europe about why we picked this guy for president. For allowing the United States to become a partner with world leaders rather than a bully of world nations deserves a prize.
  3. He allows me to believe that reason and sanity has once again returned to the White House. Ok, I warned you that I’m a liberal. But for the past 6-7 years, I’ve felt that the USA was losing its way. Our constitutional rights were being eroded before my eyes. I don’t know if President Obama will reverse this trend, but I’m hopeful that he will. Hope is what he brings. Not for everyone, and not all the time. But more than a year ago. That deserves a prize.

So, bottom line, yes, I now think that President Obama does deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. He may not be the 14th Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Mother Teressa, but he may eventually do as much good as they have. I hope so.

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  1. Here was Obama’s reaction when he learned he has won the Nobel Prize.

    best regards,
    political pen

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