Many people are taken aback. Justifiably or not is a matter of dispute. He’s only been in office for nine months for goodness’ sake! Granted, however, how many of his predecessors has taken the issues of nuclear disarmament and climate change seriously? Let alone act upon them? As the head of the most powerful country on Earth? I’m no political analyst, but even I know that substantial measures have been taken by President Obama in order to further the above issues. This award makes George W. Bush look even more like a donkey.
On the other side of the coin, the president himself is obviously not happy about the decoration. It is apparent when you take a look at his press conference. Just look at his facial expression. It is a huge and unexpected burden. As he articulated it in his speech, the award is not intended to honour his past achievements, but more of an incentive for future actions to be performed. I think it is an extremely clever decision on the part of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. This award will be hovering over his head like a halo every time he makes a decision regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, or North Korea. I guess we shall see how he lives up to the expectations by the end of his term. I certainly wouldn’t want to walk in Barack Obama’s shoes.
I may be in the minority with my opinion, yet I do believe the appropriate stance is a supportive one.
(On a side note: Is anybody remotely familiar with Herta Müller’s body of work?)