Revealed: Washington Embarrassed Obama given Nobel Peace Prize
If there's one person in politics you don't want to cross, it's Chicago's recently elected mayor Rahm Emanuel. Prior to that, Emanuel was chief of staff during Obama's first term. After hearing the president was getting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, Norwegian's former ambassador was given a verbal lashing by Emanuel for awarding the prize so early in the young president's term. According to Independent Online,
A senior Norwegian diplomat says his country's former ambassador to the United States was given a verbal lashing by Barack Obama's chief of staff when the president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
Morten Wetland said on Thursday that the ambassador, Wegger Stroemmen, was approached by Rahm Emanuel, now Chicago's mayor, who accused Norway of “fawning” to the newly elected US leader.
Wetland, the Norwegian ambassador to the United Nations at the time, told The Associated Press he did not witness the dressing down but said there was an air of embarrassment in Washington that Obama had been given the award so early in his presidency.
Obama won the Nobel prize for his "efforts for a world free of nuclear weapons; for a more engaged US role in combating global warming; for his support of the United Nations and multilateral diplomacy; and for broadly capturing the attention of the world and giving its people “hope”. Emphasis added:
The AP interviewed Wetland by telephone after his column appeared in Thursday's edition of the Norwegian daily business paper, Dagens Naeringsliv, relating how his “most painful day” at the UN was when the prize was awarded to Obama.
The decision to give Obama the prize was met with considerable derision and criticism.
Obama had been in office only 12 days and many critics complained he was being given an award for something he might accomplish, not what he had already accomplished. More prize-worthy candidates were snubbed as the five-member committee got caught up in the penumbral glow of the newly minted president.
Even Obama said he did not feel he deserved to be in the "company of so many transformative figures previously honored by the prize."
As Independent Online reports,
Wetland did not give further details about Emanuel's meeting with Stroemmen, but said Emanuel was known for having a sharp tongue and that it was “the job of ambassadors to be available for those lashings out”. He declined to elaborate.
Winning the Nobel prematurely might also explain Obama's renewed efforts to combat so-called man-made global warming, the only item he's most likely to influence through executive orders and regulations. Climate change is considered dead last in Gallup and Pew polls as things that Americans care most about, with the top spots being jobs and the economy.
According to American Spectator, a "petition was began asking the Nobel Committee to rescind the Peace Prize. The petition garnered 10,000 signatures in its first day and nearly 20,000 by the end of its first week."
Of three reported finalists, many believe Dr. Sima Samar should have won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. As the Daily Beast noted at the time, "the physician and activist who survived a fatwa in Afghanistan, is the woman doing the kinds of things Obama is talking about—which is why she deserved the Nobel Peace Prize."