Foreign Policy

Obama Should Decline The Prize on Principle


Congrats to President Barack Obama on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which everyone in the world, with the exception of the committee that decides the award, basically agrees is undeserved. And in fact, must be a total headache for Obama; it's not his fault, but it's totally the sort of thing that creates a backlash among non-Obamamaniacs.

The president will be talking at 10.30AM today. My two cents: He should pull a Le Duc Tho, the North Vietnamese negotiator who declined a joint prize with Henry Kissinger for the simple reason that "his country was still not at peace."

That would not only honor the spirit of the prize, but make it easier for Obama to actually work toward peace.

NEXT: Loud Commercials Are Obnoxious. That Doesn't Mean the Government Ought to Regulate TV Ad Volume.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That’s a little much.

    But maybe he can throw a big dinner for the people in Darfur with that money or something?

  2. That is exactly what he should do. He should name three or four really good NGOs and political dissendents who deserve the prize. If he did that, everyone would have to respect him. It would politcally be very astute. It will be interesting to see what he does. If he accepts it, he is every bit the megelomaniac his worst critics say he is.

    1. I’m not sure he can win in this case. If he accepts it he’ll be considered an egomaniac. If he turns it down he will be accused of the same thing. You may have hit on the best solution which is to recognize more worthy groups or people. But I gotta think this isn’t really coming as good news to him and his inner circle.

      1. I need to prepare blog entries for either possibility. Thank you.

  3. If he were to turn it down, I would gain a whole new measure of respect for him. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  4. Fucking Gandhi isn’t worthy but Captain Nobody is? Makes me want to nuke the Moon.

    1. It’d look like a copycat maneuver after NASA’s morning.

    2. The Nobel Prize can only be bestowed on living people. If someone doesn’t get it before crossing the proverbial Jordan, then their chance (just like the person) has expired. Lise Meitner springs to mind.

  5. Indeed he should turn it down. If he does not I will be sorely disappointed and unsurprised.

  6. Anything that makes the Nobel prizes more of a stupid whack-off in the public’s eyes is fine by me.

  7. Andrew Sullivan will want to have his children after this.

  8. His speech has been moved back to 11 AM. Maybe they are considering a “Thanks, but no thanks.” That would be awesome, truly. A stroke of brilliance.

  9. He doesn’t deserve the award. So of course he isn’t going to turn it down. He’s escalating a war in a country that can never be won in, having spill over into another country that wants no part of us, all the while rattling the sabres at Iran for reasons I don’t fucking know.

    Yeah, real “peaceful” our President is.

  10. He can’t decline it without admitting he hasn’t done anything. There’s no good in this for him, either way. (Except the $1.4 million worth of handbags he can get.)

  11. Maybe they should give it to Ben Kingsley. He’s practically Gandhi.

  12. Does he win his weight in dynamite? That would be okay with me.

  13. If I was a betting man, and I am. I’d bet he will accept it. He does, after all, appear to have one hell of an ego. That is, I think he believes his own PR.

    1. There is no way Obama is going to turn it down.

      He holds himself in far too high a regard for that.

    2. Is this the joe everybody talks about here all the time?

      1. The joe everyone talks about had an email address of something like ‘’. I can’t remember the email provider he used.

        The ‘real’ joe would never have written something so mild as joe at 10:40am.

      2. No, that Joe appears to have left permanently.

  14. Reason was the first website I opened this morning.

    I thought the statement Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize was a bad Friday Funny.

    Unfortunately, it isn’t. Which, I suppose really does make it a bad Friday Funny.

    1. i thought i had awoken from a coma and it was April 1st.

  15. excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

  16. When he dropped the HopeBomb, the world surrendered.

  17. This is what Obama should say today in regards to this award:

    For 200 years we have said to the Indian people who are fighting for their land, their life, their families and their right to be free: ”Lay down your arms, my friends, and then we will remain together. Only if you lay down your arms, my friends, can we then talk of peace and come to an agreement which will be good for you.”

    When they laid down their arms, we murdered them. We lied to them. We cheated them out of their lands. We starved them into signing fraudulent agreements that we called treaties which we never kept. We turned them into beggars on a continent that gave life for as long as life can remember. And by any interpretation of history, however twisted, we did not do right. We were not lawful nor were we just in what we did. For them, we do not have to restore these people, we do not have to live up to some agreements, because it is given to us by virtue of our power to attack the rights of others, to take their property, to take their lives when they are trying to defend their land and liberty, and to make their virtues a crime and our own vices virtues.

    But there is one thing which is beyond the reach of this perversity and that is the tremendous verdict of history. And history will surely judge us. But do we care? What kind of moral schizophrenia is it that allows us to shout at the top of our national voice for all the world to hear that we live up to our commitment when every page of history and when all the thirsty, starving, humiliating days and nights of the last 100 years in the lives of the American Indian contradict that voice?

    It would seem that the respect for principle and the love of one’s neighbor have become dysfunctional in this country of ours, and that all we have done, all that we have succeeded in accomplishing with our power is simply annihilating the hopes of the newborn countries in this world, as well as friends and enemies alike, that we’re not humane, and that we do not live up to our agreements.

    Perhaps at this moment you are saying to yourself what the hell has all this got to do with the Academy Awards? Why is this woman standing up here, ruining our evening, invading our lives with things that don’t concern us, and that we don’t care about? Wasting our time and money and intruding in our homes.

    I think the answer to those unspoken questions is that the motion picture community has been as responsible as any for degrading the Indian and making a mockery of his character, describing his as savage, hostile and evil. It’s hard enough for children to grow up in this world. When Indian children watch television, and they watch films, and when they see their race depicted as they are in films, their minds become injured in ways we can never know.

    Recently there have been a few faltering steps to correct this situation, but too faltering and too few, so I, as a member in this profession, do not feel that I can as a citizen of the United States accept an award here tonight. I think awards in this country at this time are inappropriate to be received or given until the condition of the American Indian is drastically altered. If we are not our brother’s keeper, at least let us not be his executioner.

    I would have been here tonight to speak to you directly, but I felt that perhaps I could be of better use if I went to Wounded Knee to help forestall in whatever way I can the establishment of a peace which would be dishonorable as long as the rivers shall run and the grass shall grow.

    I would hope that those who are listening would not look upon this as a rude intrusion, but as an earnest effort to focus attention on an issue that might very well determine whether or not this country has the right to say from this point forward we believe in the inalienable rights of all people to remain free and independent on lands that have supported their life beyond living memory.

    Thank you for your kindness and your courtesy to Miss Littlefeather. Thank you and good night.

  18. joe|10.9.09 @ 10:40AM|#

    Not on topic or anything, but seriously, you’re gonna want to pick a new username. Even if you just capitalize the ‘J’ or something.

    1. Second that.

      Cuz absolutely nobody is going to beleive that comment coupled with that username.

    2. Third that. The “joe” handle has a long history here, a lotta baggage. Plus, if you use it, it will screw up our searches for joe-mockery.

    3. Are you guys sure it is not the real “joe”?

      He might have had an epiphany.

      1. I think ol’ Joe left the building some time ago. I don’t recall any postings from him for some time.

      2. If he had a real epiphany he’d kill himself.

      3. >>Are you guys sure it is not the real “joe”?

        >>He might have had an epiphany.

        No f’ing way. Joe would never admit he was wrong.

        1. “The Better Joe” would lend clarity as to who is posting.

          Just don’t make it TheBetterJoe, because that would subject you to a different sort of association with a thoroughly mockable person.

  19. As long as we’re entertaining our fantasies, I would like to picture that at the moment Obama accepts the prize, he simultaneously bombs Iran AND Gothenberg (Bergen would be better, but they’re NATO so that complicates things).

    For his acceptance speech, he drapes the background in Stars and Stripes the size of a football field, and blares whatever the hell that country song is about “proud to be an American”.

    Then, he leans into the mike, grins, and says “thanks for the coin. We’re back, bitches — oh yeah, we’re back.”

  20. Xeones,

    Whatever for? You’re not suggesting we retire the cognomen, are you?

    1. “joe” is radioactive with a half-life of about three centuries.

    2. I don’t see how you can retire the name. Who is he Jackie Robinson or something?

      1. How about he keeps the number–I mean the name–but once a year we have a phony celebration?

  21. And yet Obama has done nothing about the Soviet Doomsday Machine.

  22. What would Jesus have done, had the Norwegians been conferring prizes in those days?

  23. “pull a Le Duc Tho”

    Thanks for the suggestion. I might do that tonight.

    1. The ladies, they love it.

  24. Interestingly, the MSNBC poll is running over 62% opposed to the prize.

  25. Holy crap. If the “thrill up my leg” network poll is running against it, that’s bad.

    1. The “for” crowd isn’t quite awake yet.

    2. Their still rubbing one (or 2 or 3) out over at Kos and HuffPo.

      Give them time to recover. They’ll be there.

  26. Terrible as it is, I wouldn’t give up the million bucks either. I’d probably compromise by accepting on behalf of the American people, saying it is really their award, blah blah blah.

  27. He just announced – he’s accepting it, “as a call to action”…

    1. Of course he did. There was no way this man was refusing this award.

    2. I’ll say it again: deep down, you know he feels like Milli Vanilli.

  28. Imagine my surprise; he wants it, he deserves it, he’s going to take it.

    He’s saving the planet, you know.

  29. I’d probably compromise by accepting on behalf of the American people

    And sign the check over to Treasury?

    1. I Like that – he should be pressured to sign the check over to decrease the deficit.

  30. Maybe it was a set up so he could decline it?

  31. I don’t know one normal person who really cares about the Nobel Peace Prize any more. It’s been a joke for many years now. I doubt even a man as narcissistic as Obama is especially proud of it.

  32. He just announced – he’s accepting it, “as a call to action”…

    Man, that guy is such a dick.

  33. I wonder how many times the simple question “for what?” was asked this morning. That is what I said when my woke me up to this news. It has to be a near universal reaction. It’s the possible reaction.

    1. When my WIFE woke me…it’s the ONLY possible reaction. I can’t even blame preview not being available for my idiocy.

  34. I wonder how much money it would take to hire a Kanye look alike to interrupt his speech and tell everyone who really deserves the prize…

    That’s right, I made a Kanye reference. That’s sooo last month.

  35. He’s accepting it, “on principle”.

    1. Barry HO has no principles

  36. I wonder how many times the simple question “for what?” was asked this morning.

    “For what?” is exactly what my wife said when I told her. Two data points – its a trend!

  37. He’s accepting it, “on principle”.

    What principle? That he’s the awesomest, ever?

  38. He just announced – he’s accepting it, “as a call to action”…

    Precisely — the action of voting the bastards out ASAP.

  39. I just said this in another thread, but I think I need to say it here, too: “Schlock and awe.”

  40. Hey, BACK OFF! The man did a lot in the 10 days between his coronation and the deadline to submit names. In those 10 days he… well…. just 10 days? And a whole lot of “present” votes? Did he ever beat a small child? No? Well then,. there you go…. peace man!

  41. In his speech, Obama said that the prize has been awarded in the past to act as a spur to various causes. Can anyone confirm or refute this claim?

    Oh, and my ears deciphered his speech like this. Even though he felt it prudent to say he didn’t deserve the award, he accepted it and took it as affirmation that He is right about pretty much everything.

  42. The Peace Prize has been nothing more than paean to celebrities even since they gave it to Di.

    I bet within five years Angelina Jolie wins it, too.

    1. Hell, she’s done more for peace than Obama.

  43. Are we sure it was 4H giving him the Peas Prize for his veggies in the White House garden?

  44. NEWS FLASH!!!



  45. Wait, don’t we have two wars with no intention to end either? And isn’t the exec-branch still pro-torture? And hey, since there’s little in either war or economics to distinguish Obama from Bush, shouldn’t they be co-recipients?

    Nonetheless, as a (transient) Californian, I have thrills up both legs, extending somewhat into my abdomen.

    As for Left Coasties eating this up, an informal poll of San Francisco indicates “WTF?” as the preferred response.

    1. I don’t know about you, but I have thrills in my stomach extending to my mouth over this one. It’s completely insane.

  46. NEWS FLASH: Barrack Obama gets “Cy Young Award” for throwing out first pitch in season opener.

  47. Non-Obamaniacs? Sounds better tnan right-wing morons, I guess.

      1. man i’m so retarded, i finally got that. morris day and the motherfuckin time.

  48. They’re discussing the possibility of his turning it down on MSNBC. Final conclusion: he was “humble.” Yes, America, we’re that stupid.

  49. Will Edward cling to the last possible trace of credibility here, or will he sling it to the winds? Hit & Run regulars want to know!

    1. When did he get credibility? Even traces?

      1. I was using artistic license, dude.

        1. No worries. I was using artistic incredulousness.

  50. So. What’s next? McCain/Palin as co- winners of the Nobel prize for economics for suspending their campaign to fix the economy of the entire world? They had all the right intentions.

  51. Obama Should Decline The Prize on Principle


    I think he accepted it. Lame. John, let’s go get drunk and beat up some hippies.

  53. “I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments. But rather as an affirmation of American leadership. … I will accept this award as a call to action.”

    This dickwad believes his own bullshit.

  54. . . .an affirmation of American leadership. . . .

    Did he just give credit to Bush for this? Wow, gutsy move.

  55. Hey I’m not George W. Bush either. Where’s my prize?

    1. I nominate Tony as thread winner.


    Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Paul Krugman!

    Oh shit – that actually happened

  57. I checked over at Daily Kos. The meme there is that any opposition to this award is pure GOP “Anti-Americanism”.

    Well, now I’ve had my laugh for the day.

  58. Aresen,

    I’ve noticed that several of the Google News headlines have focused on the WTF reaction being a GOP one. That’s so ridiculous that I’m not sure how to respond.

    How is defending everything the government does good? Aren’t we setting ridiculously low standards when we reward nothing? The Nobel committee aside, if even his supporters would do no more than golf clap this award, it would show that at least some of us care more about substance than the lack thereof.

    1. ProL: See the conservative reporter post for your answer.

      It’s all about paradigms. Anything outside of the progressive paradigm is excluded as non-compliant and illegitimate.

      Everything flows from there.

  59. I mean really wtf has that idiot done to deserve anything i guess next his pictur will be on the food stamp card

  60. obama will cause the down fall of america

  61. Next up: honorary Oscar for “lifetime achievement”. Seriously, I could see it happening.

  62. Epi,

    The jokes write themselves. And the winner of the 2009 John C. Heisman Memorial Trophy is Presiden Barrack Obama. The Committee did Bambi no favors. Can you imagine what SNL and the late night talk show hosts are going to do with this? They just made him into a worldwide punchline.

    1. If only. The True Believers will only take this as confirmation that their faith in the Obamasiah was worthy and just.

      Prepare for the 4th Crusade.

  63. This reminds of the courtesy ribbons they give all the retards in the Special Olympics.

    1. Don’t be dissin’ my ribbons bitch!

  64. But, he said, “I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century.”


  65. My nominaton for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize is the president of Iran. His willingness to admit the existance of that secret nuclear plant in the mountain is proof of his sincere quest for peaceful co-existance with all nations.

  66. I still think Obama will next win the Nobel in mathematics. For teaching us what number comes after a trillion.

    1. Cotillion?

      1. A berzillion.

        Not to be confused with a Brazilian.

      1. Google?

    2. The amazing math is the math showing that Obamacare is actually going to save money. That indeed does deserve an award.

    3. Quadrillion, quentillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion,…infinity.

  67. impeach obama

  68. Article I, Section 9: “And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.”

    Doesn’t him accpeting this award fit that description? The thing is presented by the King of Norway.

    1. The problem is that Congress will consent. It will be the “Oh, Bambi, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Bambi, hey Bambi” Act of 2009.

      1. MMMMMM, Pelosi in a cheerleader outfit.

        Dancing and jumping and high-kicks and jiggling and…


        1. I really could have gone without that mental picture. Can you imagine the amount of silicon and bad plastic surgery work that would shake lose?

        2. Oh, ben, the pain you must be in. Thats a cry for help, damnit!

        3. I just threw up in my mouth a little…..

    2. Since when have any of these federal cockusckers ever had a proclivity to abide by the constitution?

    3. And you think Congress won’t give Consent?

      1. Congress will not be unresponsive.

    4. Oh, John, you know that Congress would vote to let him have it. ‘Course, if there’s a debate about it, perhaps it will distract them from health care reform.

  69. Didn’t Al Gore win this thing too? And Teddy Roosevelt a while back? The Peace Prize has a long Sybil-like history.

    Other winners: Woodrow Wilson? Henry Kissinger? Rigoberta Menchu? Yasser Arafat?

  70. Wait, don’t we have two wars with no intention to end either? And isn’t the exec-branch still pro-torture?

    Well, yeah- but he’s only following issuing orders.

  71. if we had all the money obama has wasted on talk shows the country would be better off

  72. I nominate Tony as thread winner.

    This is such a weird, fucked up day that i agree with you.

    1. I second that.

  73. I don’t have a problem with a president winning it. Provided he does something to so so. By the logic given by most defenders of this idiocy, every single president should win it upon taking office.

    Roosevelt probably earned it to get the Japanese and Russians to end their little war. Even Wilson probably earned it for the whole League of Nations business, despite how that turned out. At least there was an argument for it, anyway.

    Like I’ve said multiple times now, no to Gandhi means no to legitimacy. Period.

    1. Fuck Gandhi.

      1. First let me say that I despise you for (1) utilizing threaded comments in anything but sequential order and (2) for making me respond in kind.

        However, I do have an answer for you.

    2. Just this week, news comes that Obama refuses to meet with the Dali Lama so as not to upset the Chinese before he goes there to meet with them. What a courageous Lion of Peace the Nobel committee has Chosen for the prize.

  74. Thomas Jefferson once wrote the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants

  75. Some past winners are:

    1988 – The UN Peacekeepers
    1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev
    1994 – Yasser Arafat
    2001 – The UN
    2001 – Kofi Annan
    2002 – Jimmy Carter
    2007 – The UN IPCC
    2007 – Al Gore

    Now when I get the limited-time-only gold coin depicting Obama with his prize, I’ll have the whole set!

    1. Would that be “layered in pure, 24 karat gold?”

  76. Yeah, well Yassir Arafat won the Nobel prize too, so really I think it means a lot less than most think anyway…

  77. Damn, I’ve gotta type faster 😉

  78. I think I should get the Nobel Peace Prize: I stopped farting in closed elevators.

    1. So you wait for the doors to open before you crack one off?

  79. I’m sure Al Gore likes it that Obama won. People won’t have to point to his prize for an example of why the Nobel Peace Prize is utterly fucking worthless.

  80. Check out the poll at Huffington Post:
    45.5% approve
    21.5% don’t know
    33% disapprove

    The all-consuming question for me is how the late-night comics are going to tiptoe around this one. It’s a comedic goldmine, for those willing to risk it.

  81. If he turns it down, someone will blame the teabaggers for it.

  82. I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said – but wow! Just what has he done to deserve it? For my sanity, I should give up following current events, politics, all that and stick with following sports. Least that makes sense. This is utter nonsense.

    1. Well, at least he hasn’t escalated the wars he implied he would end …

      Oh, wait, he’s sending 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

      Well, at least he closed Gitmo and gave everyone there the right to habeus corpus and a trial …

      Oh, wait, didn’t do that either.

      Ummm, he hasn’t yet started a war to free Darfur — yet — because he’s overcommitted in his other two wars?

      That’s gotta be it.

    2. Did you see the Raven/Pats game last Sunday? Worst officiating since the 2007 Ravens/Pats game which was the worst since the 2001 Tuck Rule.

  83. My thoughts almost precisely…Declining the prize in deference to a more deserving person or entity would be the noble choice on his part (pardon the pun).

  84. I posted on another forum this morning about this, when I first heard the news. I see a lot of the same sentiments posted here. He should give it back. If he was a real man, he would give it back, having no accomplishments at all to deserve it. What do you expect from an egolomaniac with absolutely no skills at all?

  85. === Our commitment, customer is God.

    Welcome to — —- We are specialized in offering all kinds of top brand shoes, jeans, t-shirts, jacket, jerseys, watches, purses, handbags, belts, wallets , sunglasses and hats etc.
    Accept paypal ,All the prices list on our website include shipping cost,insurance,tax etc..

    $50 UGG BOOT, $30 nike shoes,air jordan shoes,nike shox shoes,gucci shoes
    $33 true religion jeans, ed hardy jeans,coogi jeans,affliction jeans, Laguna Beach Jeans
    $16 ed hardy T-shirts,Coogi T-shirts,Christian Audigier T-shirts,Gucci T-shirts,Polo T-shirts.
    $30 coach handbag,gucci handbag,prada handbag,chanel handbag,$15sunglasses,$9 caps.

    I wish you a happy shopping and happy every day!

  86. Presenting this award to Obama might be a move to undermine him further. He’d already lost some cred prior to the award.

    He’s being perceived, more and more, as a talker, not a doer. Being awarded an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize just reinforces the idea that he’s more PR than the real deal.

  87. Makes you wonder if this award was proof for Obama that the powers-that-be do run the world.

    There’s generally a hidden reason for such things when there’s no obvious one…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.