Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize and I feel safer already.
No need to worry that he has peaked too soon - over the next few years the Nobel Committee can still award him prizes in economics and literature.
MORE: Mickey says Obama should make like a Cubs fan and throw it back.
THAT WAS SPECIAL: The other half of the special relationship is not cheering, at least in the Times Online:
The award of this year’s Nobel peace prize to President Obama will be met with widespread incredulity, consternation in many capitals and probably deep embarrassment by the President himself.
Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.
Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.
Mr Obama becomes the third sitting US President to receive the prize. The committee said today that he had “captured the world’s attention”. It is certainly true that his energy and aspirations have dazzled many of his supporters. Sadly, it seems they have so bedazzled the Norwegians that they can no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished.
OCTOBER WISDOM: This is the time of year when we take guidance from Derek Jeter, who once observed that "No one wants to hear about potential; you have to go out and do it.'' Not where the Nobel Committee is concerned.
PILING ON: Great reax at InstaPundit. I hate to chose but my fave so far might be "“How do you say ‘jumped the shark’ in Norwegian?”
IF ONLY: It will be Mission Accomplished for the Nobel Committee if George Bush reacts with "Is this a cruel hoax?" He won't.
GOING FOR THE GOLD: Put together the Olympian snub of Chicago and the absurdly premature prize to Obama and what is the message from the international movers and shakers (*)? We love you, Obama, it's your country we have a problem with.
That is not a great role for a President to let himself be cast in, although it does fit perfectly with his Apology Tours.
Expressions of doubt as to whether this helps prize Obama are everywhere - here are The Note and TNR. I think this silly award could trigger a turn in conventional wisdom. Since there seems to be widespread agreement that apparently some of Obama's supporters have gone overboard, the newly fashionable position will be "I support him, but I'm not insane about him". Once people start feeling obliged to separate hype from reality and pay attention to Obama's flaws, they will probably find a few.
This is not exactly an "Emperor has no clothes" moment; more like, "The Emepror is not quite as well dressed as some people have been screaming at me".
(*) For purposes of this insight the international community is monolithic.
WE CUT TO THE RANGER: