Obama gains nothing from the prize. No domestic constituency will become more favorably disposed to him because five Norwegians think he’s already changed the world — and the Republicans were just handed the punch line for an easy recession-era attack ad. (To quote the Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, anticipating the 30-second spots to come: “He got a Nobel Prize. What did you get? A pink slip.”)Unfortunately, Mr. Obama is so narcissistic that he can't possibly refuse this award. Doing so would be best, but he won't...
Overseas, there was nobody, from Paris to Peshawar, who woke up Friday more disposed to work with the United States because of the Nobel committee’s decision — and plenty of more seasoned statesman who woke up laughing. (Vladimir Putin probably hasn’t snickered this much since John McCain tried to persuade Americans that “we are all Georgians” during last year’s weeklong war.)
At the same time, the prize leaves Obama more open to ridicule. It confirms, as a defining narrative of his presidency, the gap between his supporters’ cloud-cuckoo-land expectations and the inevitable disappointments of reality. It dovetails perfectly with the recent “Saturday Night Live” sketch in which he was depicted boasting about a year’s worth of nonaccomplishments. And it revives and ratifies John McCain’s only successful campaign gambit — his portrayal of Obama as “the world’s biggest celebrity,” famous more for being famous than for any concrete political accomplishment...But by accepting the prize, he’s made failure, if and when it comes, that much more embarrassing and difficult to bear. What’s more, he’s etched in stone the phrase with which critics will dismiss his presidency.
Slick Willie. Tricky Dick. Jimmy “Malaise” Carter. Dubya the Incompetent.
And now Barack Obama, Nobel laureate.
Monday, October 12, 2009
From the NYTimes, Ross Douthat makes a very good point,