Be Smart, Barack: Turn Down the Prize

Obama accepting the Nobel will only reinforce right's caricatures
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2009 7:45 AM CDT
Barack Obama delivers remarks at Cairo University in Cairo in June this year.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize laureate? "They could have awarded it to Kylie Minogue and I wouldn’t have been half as surprised," writes Ben Brogan of the Telegraph, who thinks the "bunch of Scandinavian worthies" have made a silly, self-satisfied choice. Yet while the Norwegians have embarrassed themselves, the president doesn't have to—he's better than the caricature he's being made into, and he should tell the Nobel committee thanks but no thanks.

You can already see the conservative argument taking shape: "barely a senator, now barely a president," Obama is being hailed for his non-achievements by a collection of "Euro-weenies." The prize will only accelerate Obama's transformation from complex figure into "comedy confection—which he does not deserve," and gives his opponents "yet another bat to whack him with. If he's smart, Obama will turn the prize down, "even if he does look great in white tie and tails."