Friday, October 9, 2009
President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
When I heard that President Obama won this year's Nobel Peace Prize I immediately thought of an item that ran in Mad Magazine about 1960. It was a fake news story announcing a forthcoming movie about the life of Paul Anka, who had scored his first hit record in 1957, and followed it up with several other hits in 1958, 1959 and 1960. The punch line was that the running time for "The Paul Anka Story" movie would be three minutes. Quite similarly, in the same way that 1960 was too early for a biopic on Paul Anka, 2009 is too early to award President Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize. Not to diminish Obama's accomplishments to date (whatever they might be), but this is as premature as deciding how to spend your lottery winnings before you buy a lottery ticket. What this year's Nobel prize does show to me is that the European view of the United States has changed overnight, doing a 180 turn from being looked at with suspicion, if not disdain, to one of admiration, which certainly is not bad. And somewhere in there I think there's a message to George W. Bush. Perhaps he deserves a separate honor as Nobel Enabler.