Comments on: Who ever could have predicted? http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:04:18 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456730 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 17:02:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456730 Agreed. But, Obama being Obama, he’s much likelier to risk pissing off his left flank than the right. American and European leftists will piss and holler and moan, but where else do they have to go? (That’s his calculation, anyway.)

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By: Profane http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456726 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 16:26:15 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456726 The Nobel Peace Prize jumped the shark long before this year (Kissinger, Arafat), and, of course, more recently and closer to home:

http://blog.al.com/stantis/2007/10/Stantis-NobelpoliticsCOLORRGB.jpg

One can only hope that Obama does not let this affect his any foreign policy decisions.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456721 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 15:50:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456721 Well, I think most of the grant and job applications I’ve submitted over the course of my career have gone into the Crackpot File, so that won’t be a new insult!

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By: LadyProf http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456715 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 14:59:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456715 Historiann, kidding aside: I checked it out and (at least as a practical matter) you may not nominate anyone you like. In theory you are qualified, but in practice the Nobel committee will solicit recommendations from people who fall into those groups rather than read letters with supporting docs. So you could send in an unsolicited nomination, but it’ll go in a crackpot file.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456682 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 13:01:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456682 cgeye–I’m skeptical that anyone close to Obama nominated him. One thing I do believe is that the WH was just as surprised and shocked by this Friday morning as pretty much everyone else. Interesting that the records will be open in 50 years–that’s actually not that long in terms of other records restrictions I’ve heard of. (Since I work in such old-timey history, nothing I’ve ever consulted or wanted to consult was hamstrung by a hold like that, so I’m not too familiar with the practice.)

This prize is an artifact of the excitement he generated around the world in 2008, not anything he’s done in 2009, other than not being George W. Bush. (But, thanks for doing the legwork on the nominating process–how cool that *I* can now nominate anyone I like! I have a few ideas. . . )

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456629 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 08:16:37 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456629 Uh, this is the Nobel Committee’s Venn Diagram:

Nobel statutes on who can nominate were slightly broadened in 2003. They now include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091009/ap_on_re_eu/eu_nobel_peace_myths

So any member of Congress, any law or political science professor, any thinktank member could have started the process — and someone had to know his record well enough to compile a report that would make him competitive with other potential nominees. Since America didn’t hear of Obama before 2004, and he wasn’t prominent as a candidate until 2008, the nominator had to get some cooperation from his team before the election. He was too obscure concerning his initiatives centered on peace, otherwise.

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By: ER Doc http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456559 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 05:35:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456559

The Nobel papers are locked away for 50 years, but someone will talk here, soon enough. The people who work for him have too much ego not to.

“The people who work for him” nominated him??? I don’t think anyone associated with the Obama campaign has the standing to nominate anyone for the Nobel Prize. The Nobel committee makes the choice on its own, and uses its own standards. The committee was presumably looking at what Obama had promised during the campaign, and what he’d said in the aftermath of the election, and hoped to encourage that process, and build on it.

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456523 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 02:58:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456523 One thing that Anglachel mentioned — someone had to prepare an extensive nomination presentation prior to the nomination deadline — so someone had to put that together *during the campaign*, not just in those weeks after the election and before Feb. 2009. I wonder who that was?

The Nobel papers are locked away for 50 years, but someone will talk here, soon enough. The people who work for him have too much ego not to.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456518 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 02:46:26 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456518 thefrogprincess writes, “even I felt immensely uncomfortable about what amounts to an anointing based on little and I’m worried about what this unnecessary burden of an award is going to mean for our involvement in Afghanistan, healthcare reform, and who knows what else.”

This is exactly my concern, too. Pomp and ceremony are fine if they’re in the service of a solid agenda. (Isn’t this the lesson of the Commander Codpiece performance of 2003? That grand gestures that commemorate nothing are ultimately hollow and will be seen as foolish?) But I suspect that a lot of this pomp and ceremony that Obama has surrounded himself with, and that now is laid at his feet (in the Nobel), may threaten his ability to get stuff done. (Stuff done, not speeches!)

In the end, I’m doubtful that Obama will tailor his policies in deference to the Nobel. He’ll just have to try a bit harder to convince people that sending 40,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan is really in the service of peace. (I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea, so long as there’s a clear goal in mind and a timeline for getting the hell out. Lord knows the European allies & other members of the coalition forces there are damned tired and want to get the hell out themselves.) At least, if he’s smart he won’t let the Nobel get in his way. But unfortunately, that’s all it is at this point in his career–it’s something that could impede his agenda rather than facilitate it.

It’s too bad the Nobel committee couldn’t have waited a few years to take the measure of his accomplishments. But as I suggested in an earlier comment, that’s precisely what makes awarding it to him this year so enticing–there’s no troubling war record or other lengthy record of public service to get in the way. If they waited a few years until he had actually done something, they would have been challenged to explain the award even more in light of Obama’s decision to bomb X region of Afghanistan or to launch air strikes in Waziristan. (For example.)

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By: Bavardess http://www.historiann.com/2009/10/10/who-ever-could-have-predicted/comment-page-1/#comment-456451 Sun, 11 Oct 2009 00:48:54 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7836#comment-456451 Thanks for this, Historiann. I was discussing the Nobel with a group of other non-Americans last night, and we were all perplexed by what the criteria might have been. All we could come up with was, ‘made some pretty good speeches’ and ‘not a complete idiot’ (see also under, ‘not George Bush’). I can understand, though, how the prize might now be used to exert (or try to exert) pressure on Obama in the realm of European politics.

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