Friday, October 09, 2009

Amid all the exploding heads, wisecracks and misinformed commentary, let's at least listen to what the man has to say about it.


Sherwood Harrington said...

No wonder the opposition is reduced to bonehead rebuttals of the "you lie!" ilk. How in the world can anyone disagree with anything he said here except by impugning his candor?

But, of course, we'll hear all the belittling "he makes a pretty speech" crap about this, too, as though that were something negative.

Brian Fies said...

Well, Obama winning the Nobel is ridiculous on the face of it, particularly since the nomination deadline fell 10 days after his inauguration. I don't recall any significant breakthroughs in world peace during the first week of February or, frankly, since. When even your allies and fans say "Huh?" you're going to get some ridicule (I hear he's a shoo-in for the Cy Young Award).

On the other hand, it's important to remember that he didn't ask for the honor, and seemed as surprised as anyone. I think this swell speech puts about the best face possible on what could have been a worse embarassment.

ronnie said...

Hulu content's not viewable in Canada but I gather this is President Obama's speech in reaction to the somewhat stunning news of his Nobel Peace Prize.

We were talking about it in the bar last night and Husband said, "I think he's eventually going to regret this." I almost did a spit-take. I said, "Oh, I think he regretted it about ten seconds after the news sunk in."

I don't think the Nobel Committee did the man any favours here. However, given the circumstances, I think he responded as well as he possibly could. And as an observer from outside the US, I think I understand the rationale behind the award. I'm not sure Americans understand how enormously symbolic his election was to the rest of the world.

In part, I think, he wasn't really given this prize. In part, the American People were collectively given this prize for a perceived shift in attitude.

Maybe the Committee just should've presented it to "The American People" to make the point.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Mike posted a link over on Facebook to this short AP article, which gives brief profiles of the five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and short quotes about the Obama decision from four of them. The quote that stood out to me was this one from a woman identified as a "Senior political adviser to the parliamentary group of the right-wing populist Progress Party" who "told AP the prize could be seen as praising Obama's reversal of Bush administration policies: 'I guess you could read it like that.'"

The old saw about how good it feels when you stop beating your head against a wall may apply here; Obama may have won the Committee's favor simply by not being George W. Bush.

Ronnie said...

It was pointed out several places that, altho the nomination process was early, the voting wasn't until just shortly before the announcement. Some of what he has said and tried to do has occurred since the nomination.

Mike Peterson said...

"In choosing President Obama at this early stage of his presidency, the Nobel Committee recognised both the dire threat posed by the status quo and the unique opportunity offered by America's first African American - indeed, international -president.

"It is up to Obama to use the prize as an opening to pursue truly transformational policies on the world stage, regardless of the potential political cost to him.

"It's up to the rest of us to put aside our narrow ethnic, national, religious or economic interests and help lead the way." -- Mark LeVine, Al Jazeera

Jean said...

I was reading this article yesterday posted on Twitter: (You probably have read it already.)

Viewing from this far, I really do not have the right to comment, but I think I agree with Ronnie's comments,
"how enormously symbolic his election was to the rest of the world."
"In part, the American People were collectively given this prize for a perceived shift in attitude."

There is a great deal of Importance in awarding him this Prize. And someone out there does have the confidence that he will live up to it - and more.