Nobel: Noteworthy or Nonsense?

October 9th, 2009

Reaction to news of President Barack Obama winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was swift. The sampling of headlines and links from the Drudge Report told it all:


PAPER: This makes mockery of peace prize...
White House Aide: 'It's Not April 1st, Is It?'...
Carter: 'Bold statement'...
Lech Walesa: 'Too early. He has no contribution so far'...
Michael Moore: 'Congratulations President Obama -- Now Please Earn It!'
Sen. Inhofe: Obama received Nobel Peace Prize for 'de-emphasizing defense'...

From the AP story:

Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said their choice could be seen as an early vote of confidence in Obama intended to build global support for his policies. They lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama’s calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, ease American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthen the U.S. role in combating climate change.

Local political leaders didn’t miss a chance to weigh in either.

From state Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz:


The Nobel Committee’s choice of President Obama for the 2009 Peace Prize is an honor for the President and for our country.  For those of us in Hawaii, who know that Barack Obama’s roots are what led to his dreams and vision, we can be doubly proud.  We all know there is so much work ahead in a world filled with peril, but let us pause for a moment and reflect on what is possible and commit ourselves to a global community in which peace prevails.

Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Jonah Ka’auwai had a bit more to say on the matter:


President Obama’s star power continues to earn him praise without merit.  What significant shift has taken place on the international front since he has taken office?

North Korea and Iran continue to demonstrate their unwillingness to disclose nuclear capabilities or negotiate real disarmament. American troops are still risking their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq to protect the country from those who wish to do us harm.

American leaders such as President Ronald Reagan, who ushered America to the end of the Cold War, were not honored for their actual achievements, while President Obama, nominated after only two weeks in office, was recognized for his rhetoric by a committee of star-struck Norwegians.

Following on the heels of a similar Hollywood-fueled Nobel win by Al Gore, one can only hope that the Prize will someday regain its credibility.


UPDATE: 2:20 p.m.

Ka’auwai’s statement drew a response from Schatz:

This is a proud day for America, and an especially proud day for all of us in Hawaii, because we have the first Hawaii – affiliated winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. We should be thrilled about this, and it’s sad that the local Republicans can’t get beyond their partisanship for just a moment to realize what a great day this is.

It’s no wonder that the local GOP has been so ineffective in capturing the enthusiasm of Hawaii residents when they focus on nipping at the President’s ankles rather than solving problems.

If this statement in turn draws a response from the GOP, we will post that, too. After that, they will just have to leave a comment like everyone else!

3 Responses to “Nobel: Noteworthy or Nonsense?”

  1. kolea:

    While I’m several degrees to the left of Brian Schatz, I find myself somewhere midpoint between him and Jonah Ka’auwai, given how this “debate” has been framed. I WOULD point out that Obama did not seek this honor–it was thrust upon him and his statement about “being humbled” by the honor is fully appropriate.

    I agree with Jonah that Obama has not earned the honor. And he may never deserve it. The committee was probably engaging in a bit of optimistic thinking by awarding it prematurely. Or, perhaps they were hoping the award would encourage him to live up to his potential as a peace-maker.

    Certainly, most people in the world welcomed the election of Obama after eight years of bumbling, and brutal, policies by Jonah’s hero, George Bush. BUt so faar, Obama has disappointed many of those who supported him, both in the US and abroad, as he has adopted as his own policies put in place by Bush, policies which will continue to alienate the world’s people and embroil us in multiple wars of choice as he chooses to feed the war machine and expand US bases overseas. Unlike the Republicans, who elevated blind faith in Bush to their top “metric” for party loyalty, Democratic voters will fall away if Obama continues to disappoint. “Hope” can only take you so far.

  2. Frank Giron:

    Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. What has he done that precludes the honor. This prize now becomes meaningless if this is how the honorees get elected. I can give you all the hope and change you want. Elect me. Change in what direction? Hope for what? Stop wasting money on this guy. He’s taking trips around the world to countries that don’t want our help. Who else in the world is trying to spend their government’s money when we need it to help ourselves. What is wrong with this picture? He has done nothing to change our spiraling economy which he caused to happen. Stop blaming Bush. The hipocracy has to stop. When do the people get out of denial. It won’t happen until he is out of power. There I said it……..

  3. Braddah Aldrain:

    Brian Schatz your liberal point of view always distorts what you really want to say about your hopeless leader “hussein obama”. Read kolea’s post and take that to heart, in fact all you liberal democrats in Hawaii need read the message bring delivered by Kolea, who happens to be one of you people that make up the majority of democrat voters in Hawaii. Just like how Obama got voted into office, we are going to make the same mistake in Hawaii in 2010 and
    vote on a party line that will make Hawaii’s lawmaking body led by a liberal governor (Neil or Mufi) and have the soldiers in the legislative body be so one sided that hope for Hawaii future for the advancement of small business and technology will never come to fruition with the union bosses gaining full control of all aspects of the decision making process. You want out of this recession do the right thing get Hanabusa elected to congress so she can stop messing up Hawaii at the local level and then vote to balance our legislator.

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