If President Obama wishes to be seen as a serious world leader, he should decline the Nobel Peace Prize. Doing so would be, in fact, the most honorable thing for him to do.
A very simple expression of gratitude for being considered would be appropriate. And a courageous footnote of honesty, by simply stating that because he had been in office for only twelve days at the time of the nomination, he had done nothing to deserve it, and that he would not feel at ease accepting the prize, would be refreshing.
It would be a bold, courageous, and indeed masterful move. It would underscore the humility he claims to seek for America to have on the world stage, and it would tell his critics that he is not as entirely one dimensional as their mountains of evidence have begun to suggest. It would be one significant way to take a step towards a serious approach to leadership that, to speak quite frankly, America can ill afford to wait for a moment longer.
He has already expressed his honest observation that he is not worthy of the prize. Partisan, even rancorous, Democrats have scoffed at the idea that he should be compared to Dr. King and FDR. Even NPR's own Juan Williams exclaimed it's utter foolishness. These observations, all from the political left, are true.
In addition to making a statement about his nation's humility, and an even more significant one about his own, it would do something else favorable for the President. Declining the prize would wipe clean the slate of public perception that he is a man who is more concerned about his image than of the substance of his office.
It is my sense that at present the American people, many of whom supported President Obama, are growing weary with the "carnival dog barker" element of his administration. To be inundated with coverage of a most self indulgent speech on behalf of the humiliation of a failed Olympic bid, as opposed to being focused on how our fighting men and women are losing their morale from lack of a clear battle plan is, on balance, not something the American people wish to see. You do realize that of the roughly 800 lives we've lost in Afghanistan over eight years, that 57 of them have come in the forty days the military's request for additional troops has gathered dust on his desk. In accepting the award, another trip to a Scandinavian nation is now in the works.
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