It’s a sad day when the president wins a Nobel Peace Prize and the first thing that comes up on related google hits is a story about the reactions happening on Twitter. According to CNN, this morning’s tweets were divided between those who are happy with the news and those who feel the prize was undeserved for a leader who has spent less than 9 months in office. The article even cites 12 original tweets— wow, how’s that for investigative reporting?
Social network sites aside, the announcement certainly has the potential to polarize a lot more than just the internet. Truth be told, Obama was inaugurated only 10 days before the February 1 Nobel nomination deadline. Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee was quick to brush aside the notion that the award may be premature. “We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future, but for what he has done in the previous year,” Mr. Jagland said. “We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do.” In its official announcement, the Nobel Committee granted Obama the award “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
So far, however, reactions to the news have been less than overwhelmingly positive. The New York Times went so far as to suggest that the award could actually be a political liability. Of course, it will take more than a few hours in the non-stop news cycle to see how public opinion will shake out. In the meantime, if your morning tweet about the news wasn’t enough internet participation for your taste, you can head to the Washington Post website to vote in its user poll and on whether or not the president deserves the award.