President Obama should "politely decline" his Nobel Peace Prize, said Mickey Kaus in Slate, saying he's honored but hasn't had time to accomplish his goals. He'll get "the same amount of glory," and chip away at his "narcissism problem" by showing that "he's uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he's started to realize it."
It's fair to say Obama's Nobel is premature "given his fairly brief tenure," said Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. But there's a legitimate defense for giving him the award—it is, after all, reserved for those "who've shown great leadership in advancing the cause of international peace," which Obama undeniably has. And Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is worth having—it could have "meaningful, and positive, impact," by giving him the "high ground in international settings."
Obviously, this was a symbolic message meant to repudiate "the go-it-alone, reckless cowboy mentality of George W. Bush’s administration," said Michael Mayo in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sun-Sentinel, "and a validation of Obama’s more conciliatory approach and his overall message of hope." But "I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around a sitting U.S. president—commander-in-chief of the world’s most sophisticated military machine—winning a peace prize amidst two wars." If Obama doesn't turn down the prize, he should at least "make sure the $1.2 million prize money goes to a darn good cause (helpful advice: probably not a donation to ACORN)."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How I lost all my money
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Ismail Kadare's 6 favorite books
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- George W. Bush 'ran the country like a cable network,' and other political insights from Chris Rock
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
Subscribe to the Week