The Ultimate in Grade Inflation?

This morning, the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee announced that the 2009 prize has been awarded to President Barack Obama.

When I first read the headline, I thought it was a spoof from The Onion.  But, no, on further checking, the headline was true.

The Peace Prize hasn’t made much sense for a while.  It is awarded by a committee selected by the Norwegian Parliament.  The committee is known for making political statements with its selections.

But Barack Obama?  Is this the ultimate case of grade inflation?  President Obama served a partial term in the United States Senate and didn’t accomplish anything other than a successful campaign for the Presidency.  He has been president for 9 months.  He really hasn’t accomplished anything yet as president.  Even Saturday Night Live spoofed him last week on his non-accomplishments.  The president’s foreign affairs efforts have been confined to delivering some flowery speeches that haven’t done much other than sound good.  And, on careful review, the speeches usually don’t make much sense.

We now have 3 sitting presidents who have been awarded the Peace Prize:  Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Barback Obama.  And let’s not forget Jimmy Carter, who was awarded it in 2002.  Or Al Gore–who the Committee probably thought really was elected president before George Bush stole it from him.

President Obama’s 2008 campaign was centered around Hope and Change.  We can always hope that he will actually accomplish something that will change the world and will make it a more peaceful place.  Unfortunately, considering his track record, I don’t think there is really much chance that will happen.


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