The news media has variously spoken in favor of the prize and against it, and ordinary citizens are equally divided. There is little question, however: Barack Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Peace Prize, as Alfred Nobel envisioned it, is awarded to “champions of peace” who genuinely contribute to bringing peace to the world (“A fitting prize” para. 6). During his acceptance speech, Obama commented, “Throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes” (Schneider para. 7). In other words, Obama himself is apologizing to those who do not think he deserves the prize, saying that he has momentum even if it appears he’s not going anywhere. This is a gracious way to accept this prestigious prize, but might indicate that Obama himself is questioning the motivations of the Nobel Committee, just as detractors have in the press and on the news.
One of these detractors has even gone so far as to state, “Anyone saying the Peace Prize Committee does not have a political agenda needs to consider the timing and nature of these choices more carefully” (Reid-Henry para. 2). The Prize committee’s timing was cut a little close: the nomination was made two weeks after Obama’s inauguration. Not only had Obama had no time to accomplish any of his lofty goals at the time of the award, he had barely put his toothbrush in the White House medicine cabinet at the time of his nomination. As a political slap in the face to the previous administration, the Nobel Committee’s message could not be more clear. The committee is indeed investing its “extraordinary faith, a belief even, in the powers of politicians to lead and to thereby solve the ills of the world” (Reid-Henry para. 7). The Peace Prize Committee may believe that