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DarkScribe's avatar

Has winning the Nobel Peace Prize damaged Obama's Image?

Asked by DarkScribe (15500points) October 12th, 2009

I am pro Obama, as are many non Americans – but since the announcement his popularity and credibility seem to have slipped in some quarters. Mostly based on the fact that his nomination came only a few weeks into his elected term – well before he actually did anything substantial.

See Travesty



These are media sources that have supported and presented him in a positive light in the past. I have just been listening to both the BBC and radio Nostalgie and the comments being made there are similar.

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26 Answers

missingbite's avatar

In the long run it won’t hurt him but it will hurt the Nobel Peace Prize. More people will think it is more political and less prestigious.

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aprilsimnel's avatar

He’s just a man. I fault the news media for creating the meme of “Obama as tall poppy”, either by praising him to the skies or denigrating him as the Anti-Christ; either way it’s portraying him as this being beyond normal humanity. And now they want to cut him down (or in the case of right-wingers, leap about clapping in hysterical glee)? :P

Sure, I think it’s too soon to get such a prize, but what’s done is done, it’s not like he lobbied for it, as far as we know (because even he’s not that stupid), and that’s that, folks. If my voice mattered any, I’d tell the news outlets (and a lot of other people) to simmer the F down! It’s been feeling more than usual like high school in American politics lately, and I’m sick of it!

Harp's avatar

Because it has been hard to point to specific actions on Obama’s part that would clearly justify the prize, the award will inevitably draw attention to arguments against his deserving it. That’s human nature. We don’t make much of an ordinary person’s foibles because we know we’ve got them too. But if they were to be canonized as a saint, for instance, and the Catholic church couldn’t offer up much convincing evidence for sainthood, then all anyone would talk about would be that person’s foibles.

Talus057's avatar

I feel like all of his empty promises already do more than enough to hurt his image. The thing about the peace prize is really just that it’s given to the one who works towards peace the most. It’s not a prize you win for doing something specific. If it wasn’t Obama then you likely would have never spoken of it in the first place. I think it’s rather hypocritical to be perfectly honest.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Talus057 f it wasn’t Obama then you likely would have never spoken of it in the first place. I think it’s rather hypocritical to be perfectly honest.

(You can read minds? That’s a handy talent. Tell me, what does my wife want for breakfast? I forgot to ask her.)

My interest is in Obama, not the prize itself – I am interested in what the negativity concerning his selection will do to his career. So yes – if it wasn’t Obama I would have little interest – but there is no hypocrisy involved.

oratio's avatar

I think he probably wish he hadn’t gotten it. His focus is – amongst others things – on getting his health care reforms through, handle the war in Afghanistan, the deficit…

This will not help him. He is trying to be a pragmatic leader, without doctrines. This feels like a swing and a miss really. It obviously raises questions and doubt. Doubt is of little help to his credibility as a politician and a leader.

galileogirl's avatar

Did anybody bother to pay attention to the Nobel Committee’s explanation of their choice?

“The Nobel Committee said he won it for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.”

Asked why the prize had been awarded to Mr Obama less than a year after he took office, Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: “It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve”.

I got these from here:"

After nearly a decade of a trumped up corporate war, President Obama and the current administration have turned to negotiating.

It’s not about achieving peace, in over 100 years obviously no Nobel Peace Laureate

has done that.

Woodrow Wilson won it for his attempt to prevent war and his Republican opposition and the American people blew off his accomplishments which has played a part in the last 90 years of wars. Al Gore won it while half the country gave him a giant raspberry and the Republican administration and leadership claimed he was making false statements. I would trust the judgment of the Nobel Committee before any member of the Party of No, any political “entertainer” or the average uninformed American.

Sarcasm's avatar

I don’t think it damaged his image.
I think the only people who are angry about it are the people who already hated Obama for being a nazi/socialist/fascist/communist/Kenyan/Indonesian/Muslim/Christian/Atheist.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Sarcasm I think the only people who are angry about it are the people who already hated Obama for…

That is the issue – those who disliked him will continue to do so, but now many who previously were fully supportive are being critical. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

galileogirl's avatar

How does something an individual had nothing to do with, was not sought, was completely unexpected and was bestowed by by a highly respected group cause that person’s reputation be damaged. Please, ANYONE, tell me how this has ever happened in the history of mankind!

DarkScribe's avatar

@galileogirl How does something an individual had nothing to do with, was not sought, was completely unexpected and was bestowed by by a highly respected group cause that person’s reputation be damaged

Very easily – it is happening right now. Anyone who accepts an award that is considered to be undeserved will suffer similarly. The consensus seems to be that he should refuse it as it is apparently politically motivated.

proXXi's avatar

More importantly, it’s damaged the prizes image.

galileogirl's avatar

@DarkScribe My point was before the professional Obama haters-name one. Refusing the award would obviously be discourteous, President Obama is doing the only appropriate thing-donating the prize money. Now we can wait for the next act when whatever unfortunate program or charity chosen gets blitzkrieged and called every political epithet. I think the time has come to tell the No-Nothings of Negativity to STFU and stop treating their stream of invective as discourse

Sarcasm's avatar

@galileogirl Please, ANYONE, tell me how this has ever happened in the history of mankind!
In case you hadn’t noticed, the people who hate the very air that Obama breathes.. well, they aren’t tied down by any “logic” or “rationality”. They kinda just go with whatever helps them be loudest.

galileogirl's avatar

Again-not an answer to my question.

oratio's avatar

@galileogirl That someone got a reward undeserved? I think history probably is ridden with that. Though democracy and the Nobel prize are very young in history, but many prominent people get rewarded just for being prominent.

I do see your points. You got a GA. At the same time, this is questioned in media and forums all over the world, and not only in the states. Being pro or against what Obama stands for, doesn’t seem to make a difference.

serendipity's avatar

Depends on whose doing the viewing of Obama I think. I have quite a few friends overseas (various countries but all in Western Europe) and they all still love him. Even those who are here who liked him before still like him (with varying degrees of confusion as to why he won) and those who don’t like him still don’t like him.

Ria777's avatar

as I said in another thread, I think the Nobel Committee want to morally blackmail into living up to his obligations.

Talus057's avatar

You have a comprehension problem, because I have no idea what you’re talking about. Beyond that, I do not require the opinions of the British, nor any other European for all that, when it comes to American Presidents.
It would seem that some people simply open their mouths because they see a black man. Others open their mouth because they see a perfectionist and others still simply because they see an American.
I think you’ll find that most of our country stopped caring what the rest of the world thinks. We hardly care what we think anymore. The world is messed up, peace prize or no peace prize. Who’s drinking the KoolAid now?

Funny how the shoes are ever constantly changing feet. People switch around as if life itself was going out of style, and perhaps it is just that.

Also, I don’t really care what your “wife” is thinking. I have no taste for British women.
Do you think we are not aware of how much you hate all of us? We do not need repeated reminders.

Remind me, why are we allied again? I seem to have forgotten.
The UN perhaps? Quite useless, that. That seems to be going around lately.

3 Cheers for Isolationism.
Hip, Hip—Hurray!
Hip, Hip—Hurray!
Hip, Hip—Hurra~~~ay!

Don’t worry, there’s always Oxford…

Buttonstc's avatar

Regarding his decision to accept the prize but donate the money was the best that he could have done to salvage the situation all around. He was truly in the unenviable position of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t ” because refusing the prize would have given rise to Obama haters loudly proclaiming things like:

Well who does he think he is being uppity enough to spurn what every body else perceives as an honor? What a snob or other grousing in the same vein. No matter what he did, it was inevitable that this was just another excuse for he detractors to excoriate him while conveniently overlooking the fact that he didn’t campaign for this, it was probably the farthest thing from his mind, and he frankly acknowledged his own awareness that he really didn’t do anything to deserve it.

As far as changing anyones opinions opinions about him, I doubt it. It merely served as a mirror for others to look at and be another excuse to express their own disapproval of him on yet another “issue”

I’ll admit that when I first heard a brief promo segment for the evening news program mentioning it, the first thought that flashed through my mind was the question: “He got the peace prize? For doing what?”

But I’m not an Obama hater (heck, I voted for the guy) and I took his comments about it and his humility regarding it at face value. I think he handled the whole thing quite well, all things considered. Hopefully he will also be smart about choosing a charity for his donation which has an incontrovertibly favorable track record and hopefully impervious to the nit-picking media scrutiny from the right wingers.

DarkScribe's avatar

You have a comprehension problem, because I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Sometimes someone says something that just makes your day.

markyy's avatar

This is all Fluther’s fault anyway, cause what did I just see logging in: markyy, The Nobel Committee called; we told them you’re busy.

@Ria777 Brings up an interesting point though. Whether he deserved to get it or not, by accepting the prize he will be pressured into acting on it to deserve the prize. Brilliant move by the committee if that was their intention.

mattbrowne's avatar

In America maybe partly, because of America-centric views. In the rest of the civilized world, quite the contrary. In the related Fluther questions I’ve tried to explain why this is so, why the perception is so different. Ending an unprecedented nightmare is worth three Nobel Peace Prizes.

proXXi's avatar

The award wasn’t given because of any remarkable accomplishment on Obama’s part (how could it be). Rather it was a statement on behalf of the ‘world community’ (non Americans) by the Nobel institution. How sad for those that lost to Obama that actually accomplished something tangible.

Obama’s declining the award would have put his money where his mouth is regarding The Content of His Character. A great opportunity to make the right statement lost.

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