Should Have President Obama Been Given The Peace Prize?

I’ve been up for an hour, pondering the first bit of news I read for the day: President Obama has been given the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. I’m now sitting and waiting for his speech on the subject and pondering my opinion on the subject.

The oddity of the prize comes from the fact that he’s not even a full year into his first term. In fact, he had to be nominated by February at which point he had only been in his post for a little over a month. He has certainly worked very hard during that 9 months and has a huge amount on his plate, both internally and externally to the U.S. Has he done enough to warrant an award yet? I’m left with many questions and few answers. I’m really only going to be documenting my questions here, since I’m neither a politics nor a Nobel prize expert.

The one thing I realized as the election was coming to a head in November 2008 was that Mr. Obama had the attention of the world in the way that hasn’t happened in a long time. Probably since the time frame of Mikhail Gorbachev’s work. He has a huge level of world-wide attention. Not just any-old attention, but positive attention.

I’ll pause now, because he’s started speaking and I’m going to listen…
(It was a good speech, but not one of his best. That being said, it was far better than I could have done after only being awake for a few hours after being told he won the prize!)

Before the election, as I was saying, I was watching TV one day and whatever I was watching was showing clips of people around the world saying how excited they were at the prospect of Mr. Obama being the next President of the United States. Coming from a point in history where there was practically world-wide disdain for recent United States actions, this was a huge change in viewpoint.

Think about it. Think about what the U.S. popularity was in October of last year compared to October of this year. Now, of course, the Peace Prize isn’t given because of how the world looks at the U.S. But it is given to people that can have a profound effect toward world harmony. I do think he has achieved that by just “being him” and winning the election.

But is that enough? Is it enough to just “be someone” with such extreme charisma that he should win a prize? Why this year? Certainly, he would have a longer track record to consider and judge. Or is now the right time in order to help him achieve even greater good by attracting even more world-wide attention. Should the peace prize be awarded as a flag to rally under?

I don’t have answers, but as the day goes on and I’ve had more time to think about it, I at least understand the reasons behind the decision more. And if I was going to award someone a prize for achieving world wide recognition as a positive person to rally, it would certainly be to him. he’s long since did that even before taking to office.

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