To my homies’ posts below — here and here — I’d like to add something. It would seem far-fetched that George W. Bush could ever be a Nobel peace laureate. After all, the committee hated his guts. You could argue that they gave five awards against Bush 43 — or in reaction to him, or with him in mind. In 2001, Kofi Annan and the U.N. In 2002, Jimmy Carter. In 2005, Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA. In 2007, Al Gore and the IPCC. And in 2009, Barack Obama.
When Carter won, the committee chairman did us the favor of stating, bluntly, that they were rapping Bush, as well as honoring Carter.
But consider: The committee hated Reagan’s guts too — in the 1980s, I mean, when the Gipper was president. There were some anti-Reagan Nobels. The committee told Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias in 1987 that they were giving him the prize in order to arm him with a weapon against Reagan. Arias later remarked to Robert Kagan, “Reagan was responsible for my prize.”
Okay, flash forward — in 2009, the chairman is giving the “presentation speech” for Obama. And he cites Reagan. Favorably. Hails him as a president who recognized that “America’s ideals were the world’s ideals”! A stunning turn of events.
I say in my book, “In future Nobel ceremonies, will chairmen be praising and quoting George W. Bush?” Stranger things have happened (though maybe not many). Time can be a healer and clarifier.