I’ve read and heard a lot about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Most of it doesn’t really interest me very much, in part because of its predictability. My initial reaction was one of curiosity rather than shock — certainly not outrage. Once I read the committee’s citation their decision made more sense, but I was concerned about what I saw as a possible extra burden for him to have to bear — dealing more with facing down his critics rather than living up to some impossible expectation. I thought he handled his acceptance of the prize with typical aplomb. I also liked what Elie Wiesel had to say in the Times last week (searched for article, but it has been updated so many times I could no longer find the original), which was something along the lines of a) I didn’t see that coming; b) Congratulations!; and c) he hoped the prize would lend a heightened sense of ethical authority to many of the things Obama is trying to accomplish. And finally, I saw this video from Rachel Maddow, who apart from being totally hot also provides some important historical perspective on the prize itself that I did not know [and thus was not thinking about]. Check it out below:
Update here: Nobel jury defends their selection of President Obama in this breaking news from the Associated Press.