October 10th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Analysis: Did Obama win Nobel for not being Bush?

A 'surprised and humbled' Obama said he would accept the Nobel peace prize as a 'call to action.'
A 'surprised and humbled' Obama said he would accept the Nobel peace prize as a 'call to action.'

LONDON (CNN) - Did President Obama land a Nobel peace prize at such an early stage of his presidency simply because he's not George W. Bush?

Diplomatic circles are certainly not dismissing such a notion and a "surprised and humbled" Obama has himself agreed that the award (for which nominations had to be submitted only two weeks after his inauguration) can hardly have been a recognition of anything he has yet accomplished. It is a prize for aspiration rather than achievement.

One of the best deliberate laughs Bush obtained in his last days in office came when he expressed himself pleased at the street reception during his attendance at a NATO summit in Romania.

"A lot of the crowd were waving... some of them with all five fingers," he said.

Bush was acknowledging that many in Old Europe at least could not wait to say goodbye to a man whom they saw as a Cold Warrior at heart, the president who had led the world into a disastrous intervention in Iraq and a man heading a gas-guzzling nation who was not prepared to help the world cope with climate change.

For many Europeans, the chief concern through the long, drawn-out race for the Democratic nomination and through the presidential election was that the result should give them anybody but Bush.

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Filed under: George W. Bush • Nobel Peace Prize
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Haily

    No. It had nothing to do with Bush. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize because of how he has already changed the world. He has inspired millions around the world with hope. Some say it's a false hope, that it's all lies, but he has inspired people to do good nonetheless.

    October 10, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Pam

    If that is the reason, all the better!

    October 10, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. R

    Bush is unique. Nobody will be like him. Thank God!

    October 10, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    I think the other nations see what the majority (silent) in this country voted for.

    The loud juvenile, fear-mongering right-wing seems to have exploded with jealousy. NO MORE GOP. NO MORE WARS - NO MORE BLOOD FOR OIL. NO MORE HALIBURTON --–

    October 10, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. dxxy4u

    If this is the case, then how bad was Bush? If Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize because of the out going of Bush, then Bush must have been terrible Globally. So let the REPs explain that. I'm waiting for the Media to say ONE kind word about Obama winning the Prize. They are leading ungraceful charge.

    October 10, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Lil Jimmy

    He hasn't done anything. The voting was 12 days after he took office. What did he do in those 12 days? This is Liberal Europe giving Bush the finger. Nothing more.

    October 10, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Ricky Atlanta

    Im cool with that conclution. But I feel him getting into the white house alone is a Nobel accomplishment

    October 10, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Karen

    I just hope he will be able to live up to the award. He has big plans, maybe some of them will come to pass. Very premature award.

    October 10, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. RRRUSA

    The world is relieved that Bush is gone, and no one is going to declare war on them for simply disagreeing with the U.S.
    Sure, Obama just started his Presidency in January. But can anyone name someone else this year (Democratic, GOP, or abroad) who has pushed for the peace process as much as Obama has? Certainly no one in Europe, no one in Africa, no one in Asia, and certainly no one in the GOP. Call it what you will, for this year, for this moment in time, Obama was the big peacemaker. This is peace that is not at the point of a gun like those who have shoes thrown at them.
    If the GOP or anyone else disagrees about the award...hey, there is another one next year! Get Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, or Sarah Palin right on it! They have a whole year to work on it!

    October 10, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Roger in CA

    Look: Put this to bed. Of course it was premature for Obama to be receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, and certainly it really boiled down to an expression of a European perspective (though, frankly, one that I share) that is celebrating the end of the disasterous Bush presidency more than anything.

    But stop trying to slam Obama in the head with his Nobel medal.... He didn't ask for it, and his own reaction echoes the befuddlement that everyone had over its being awarded as it was. To make this some sort of story of political liability only shows the eagerness of the allegedly "liberal" media gutlessly to swallow whole the talking points of the far right.

    I have every confidence that Obama will do us all very proud over time.

    October 10, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Enough

    Ya think?? What a farce this Nobel peace prize is. Nothing but more Liberal politics and prizes awarded for it too. Obama did NOT earn the Peace prize for doing anything other than speeches, he hasn't accomplished what he spoke of.

    October 10, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Right Leaning Independent

    I hope America's enemies are as easily swayed by Obama!!

    October 10, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    Only the simple minded would relate the Nobel Peace Prize reciepients to just one accomplishment. The arrogance of right-wingers claiming that he got it because he is President of the US, and that's unworthy because he was only Pres for a few weeks before the nominations closed.
    What about all he accomplished before he became Pres? Could it be that was part of it!??
    Obama did to rise above all the challenges he faced throughout his life to become the President of the US.
    It's not that Obama is not Bush, it's that he is the total opposite of Bush. He actually worked very hard to get where he is and keeps working very hard. Thank God!

    October 10, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. bellablue

    Do you remember when your mother used to say "shame on you"???? Well, I must say, it's time to say: SHAME ON YOU, MEDIA, PUNDITS, RUSH LIMBAUGH, MICHAEL STEELE, THE GOP, AND THE REPUBLICANS!!!! Having lived almost 7 decades on this earth, I cannot imagine EVER being disrespectful of my President of the United States, nor was I taught to be a "bully", a "liar", and a "two-faced' person!! We have an AWESOME PRESIDENT, and NONE OF YOU, KNOW HOW TO SPELL THE WORD, SO I'LL SPELL IT FOR YOU: R E S P E C T!!!!!!!!! We respect others, when we have self-worth, and can respect ourself. To DISRESPECT others, irregardless of the reason why you don't like what someone got, or said, is to lose sight of the bigest commandment in history: DO UNTO OTHERS, AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU!!!

    I truly wish ALL of the above people I have mentioned, would GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!! We live in the greatest Country in the World, and I can only imagine what other Countries think of us, and see how really POLARIZED, AND BIASED some Americans are!!! The behavior of all of the above people is totally unacceptable in a society that is supposed to be the most Intelligent, Ethical, Integral, Honest, and free spirited society in the whole world! As the song says: And crown THY GOOD, WITH BROTHERHOOD, from Sea to shinning Sea!!!! There no longer is BROTHERHHOOD in America!! Our forefathers would be deeply disappointed to see the mean spirted actions of some of America's citizens in the 21st Century!!!

    October 10, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Targar

    I am a democrat and I like Busch he is not a bad man he was just misled by Dick and Carl.

    October 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. mike

    Alfred Nobel must be rolling in his grave.

    October 10, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. gail

    Nobel Laureate President Barack Hussein Obama. Amazing! President Obama joins a host of Nobel Laureates that won before their goals were realized, i.e. Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King just to name a few. I am very proud that the intern...ational community sees in President Obama the things that I have seen. He is a man of great depth, intelligence, compassion, and integrity. While there are those that will say that he does not deserve this award, as he himself stated on yesterday, I will only say that often times in life we are all blessed with or attain things we feel that we are not worthy of , but it is what we do with those things that make us worthy. President Obama has pledged himself to a world without nuclear weapons, President Obama has pledged himself to making a lasting peace in the Middle East, President Obama has pledged himself to speaking to our enemies rather than ignoring them and leaving them to their own devices.God Bless him for it.

    October 10, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. usualone

    Having traveled to other parts of the world recently, many are openly supportive of the new President. They really do like our country and want it to succeed. They have hope for us and President Obama illustrates that hope. We will have other countries trying to work with us under this new administration. So that alone makes it worthwhile that he is given the Nobel Peace Price honor.

    October 10, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Biased

    Obama was given this prize for???.... I don't know why. I don't really care because it has once again opened any criticism of the man or his accomplishments to nothing but name calling and more derision of anyone who doesn't see Obama as some sort of saintlike figure that can do no wrong.

    What I want to know is who nominated him and whether it was part of his own campaign team.

    October 10, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Perusing-through

    YOU PEOPLE ARE PATHETIC!

    (1.) President Obama gives a 'tough-love' speech to the nation's students, hoping to inspire students (for national interest) to aim higher and strive harder. And CNN's response is to echo the stupidity of GOP idiots by questioning Obama's speech as a Marxist indoctrination speech.

    (2.) Now President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize, (obviously for his peace efforts 'prior' to his Presidency). And right on cue, CNN echoes the stupidity of GOP idiots by questioning whether Obama has earned the award. Dear CNN, did you ever think just to applaud Obama for being the first sitting American President to win such an award.

    October 10, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. dxxy4u

    This is why the committee felt safe in awarding Obama the "Prize". Because Obama hit the ground doing what it took for a candidate to be considered for the Award. If Obama won after 12 days in office, what does that say about Bush who was in Office eight years. Oh, I forgot, he got us in this senseless War in Iraq.

    October 10, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. kr

    Do you not watch TV outside of FOX and have you not seen clips of what Obama expressed for peace during his campaign. If you feel you can do any better in this time span then please do so, if you have solutions offer them, if not quit whining. I feel that people that make negative comments were a part of the problems during the last 8 years.

    October 10, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. GG

    it seems like whomever would have taken the office after Bush would have won the Noble Peace Prize....could of been you, Hillary or McCain

    October 10, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Dennis

    To me that's exactly what it says. To me there should be some body of work to back up the award, and in this case there simply isn't any. How is the world a better place since Obama was elected? This was based on an anticipated outcome. If it doesn't happen, does he have to give the award back?

    October 10, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. Proud member of "Global Zero:

    Past Nobel awards were for "A Big" effort. Ask Carter with his middle east peace accord. Ask the Desmond Tutu, Apartheid didn't take place until 10 years later. Ask the man fighting Hitlers take over of Germany.....wow see what happened after that.

    I am a very proud American. There are millions of us in America that are proud. There are also BILLIONS around the world that are proud.

    Yes he deserves it. We should all be proud that our President has won such a grand award.

    October 10, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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