The Corner

Bolton: Decline It

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton tells NRO that President Obama should decline the Nobel Peace Prize. “The Nobel committee is preaching at Americans, but they won’t be deceived,” says Bolton. “He should decline it and then ask to be considered again in three or four years when he has a record.”

“I was nominated three years ago and I’m still waiting for the call,” laughs Bolton. “Today’s news is just another demonstration of how politicized the Nobel Peace Prize has become, from President Carter winning in 2002, to Al Gore in 2007, and President Obama in 2009.”

“When the award was given to President Carter, the chairman of the committee said that it was a ‘kick in the leg’ to the Bush administration,” recalls Bolton. “This is yet another ‘kick in the leg’ for the Bush administration.”

“Today’s prize, by the terms of the award itself, was made for President Obama’s ‘extraordinary efforts.’ The Nobel Peace Prize should be for achievement, not effort,” says Bolton. “Just look at the other Nobel prizes awarded this week, from physics to chemistry, they were given to those who have made tangible progress and achieved in their respective fields. Obama’s award is just for effort.”

“Contrast Obama’s award with those given to other sitting American presidents,” says Bolton. “President Woodrow Wilson was given the award in 1919, Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. Roosevelt brokered the Treaty of Portsmouth, which brought the Russo-Japanese war to an end. Wilson did the Treaty of Versailles. Though that failed to be ratified in the Senate, Wilson was at least acknowledged as its main architect. Compare that to President Obama. There’s not even a claim that Obama has accomplished anything.”

“If the prize is to recognize achievements, well, there are no achievements to recognize,” says Bolton. “There are, however, lots of objectives and efforts, but nothing to compare to something like the Treaty of Portsmouth.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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