President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize Friday for his strides in international diplomacy.
The Nobel Committee cited the president for his “his continuous dialogue, in efforts to improve international relations, and working toward a world free of nuclear weapons.” The tone of the President’s acceptance speech was humble.
He said he would, “accept the prize as a call to action.” The news was met with some flattery, but left most confused. According to a CNN.com poll, 57 percent of voters did not think the president deserved to win the prize, while 43 percent agreed with the selection.
An article in Time Magazine said the President, “was given the award for not being George Bush.”
Ironically, President Obama was given the honor at a time when he must decide what his next move will be in Afghanistan. President Obama has been more diplomatic than past presidents during his short time in office.
But hosting international summits, and delivering international rhetoric is something we’ve come to expect from the head of state.
I remember vividly learning in civics classes that among many other duties listed in the president’s job description, one of the most important is his role as ‘head diplomat.’
Also listed in the job description is the award, or compensation the president receives for those duties. It includes a yearly salary, of $400,000, an annual expense account of $50,000, a $100,000 non-taxable travel account, and a stipend of $19,000 for entertainment expenses.
Not to mention several other amenities at the expense of every American taxpayer. In his campaign, the president opted to end the war in Afghanistan. Lately, the president has done little to convince anyone that he will keep that promise, as he approved 13,000 more troops to be sent to Afghanistan on Tuesday.
The Obama presidency has bought with it global anticipation for more kosher international relations, with its catchy slogan of change. But the Nobel Committee shouldn’t mistake a good campaign slogan for real strides in improved foreign policy.
Jason Lawrence for the Editorial Board.