Following the news that President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, numerous media figures have called for him to "turn it down" or "give it back," often asserting that he has not accomplished enough to deserve the prize. On his radio show, Glenn Beck said Obama "has to turn it down. ... [I]t's the only way for him to make a win out of this"; Internet gossip Matt Drudge asked on his website, "Will he turn it down?"; and Michelle Malkin said, "[I]f Obama had an ounce of real humility, he'd refuse to accept the award."
Beck, media say Obama should "turn it down" or "give back" the Prize
Glenn Beck: "Obama has to turn it down. ... It's the only way for him make a win out of this." On his October 9 radio show, Beck said: "Let me give you my rundown on this Obama Nobel Prize. First of all, he has to turn it down -- because it is such a joke -- that he'll turn it down and it's the only way for him make a win out of this. Only his arrogance will stop him from doing it. But I can guarantee you that there are people that are saying right now, you got to turn it down, you got to turn it down, you got to turn it down. ... So I believe that's what he'll do. I mean -- I can't say -- his arrogance is so incredible." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 10/9/09]
Beck: "Nobel Peace Prize should be turned down by Barack Obama and given ... to the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project." Also on his radio show, Beck said: "I really think this is a validation of all things. The Nobel Peace Prize should be turned down by Barack Obama and given ... to the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project because -- because of the arrogance ... because of the arrogance of the progressives that thought no one would stand in their way, that he would be able to accomplish everything. Two weeks into his presidency, they nominated him for it and said, oh, this is going to be a slam dunk. And because of the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project people that stood in his way and stopped him from accomplishing the things that he thought -- please, I'm the messiah. I'll be able to accomplish that. We have now seen -- we are now pulling the curtain back and seeing, oh, wait a minute, he just got an award for doing things he couldn't get done. Hmm." [The Glenn Beck Program, 10/9/09]
Chip Reid: "Did he consider turning it down?" During an October 9 White House press briefing, CBS' Chip Reid asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs whether Obama "consider[ed] turning it down," after noting that "the president in his statement today said, 'I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of these transformative figures.' " In a follow-up question, Reid said: "I think the point a lot of your favorite people, pundits, have been making is that the response to this has been like this -- I mean, most Democrats have praised it and most Republicans have said, you have got to be kidding me. Ronald Reagan didn't get one, but Barack Obama, nominated 12 days after he was sworn in, gets a Nobel Peace Prize. And the fear among some, even some Democrats, is that this is going to widen the partisan divide and make things even more difficult to accomplish on every front." [MSNBC, 10/9/09]
Drudge: " 'For What'? Will He Turn It Down?" On October 9 as late at 9:58 a.m. ET, Matt Drudge linked to an Associated Press analysis headlined, "He won, but for what?" with the Drudge headline: " 'For What'? Will He Turn It Down?"
Malkin: "If Obama had an ounce of real humility, he'd refuse to accept the award." On her website, Michelle Malkin, after asserting that Obama received the prize "not for anything he's actually done, but for the symbolism of what he might possibly accomplish sometime way off in the future," wrote, "If Obama had an ounce of real humility, he'd refuse to accept the award." Malkin also wrote that he should "give it back" on her Twitter feed.
Mark Halperin: "I predict right now that he will find a way to basically turn it down. ... Because there is no upside." On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Time's Mark Halperin said, "I predict right now that he will find a way to basically turn it down. I share this with the world or whatever. I don't think he'll embrace this. Because there is no upside for him." [Huffington Post, 10/9/09]
NRO quotes John Bolton: "Decline It." In an October 9 post on National Review Online's blog, The Corner, Robert Costa quoted former United Nations ambassador John Bolton as saying, "He should decline it and then ask to be considered again in three or four years when he has a record." [National Review Online, 10/9/09]
NRO's Levin: "[R]ight response" includes "declining the prize." Yuval Levin wrote on The Corner that "[i]t's hard to know quite what the right response would be, but it would probably require a self-effacing show of humility (including declining the prize) that our president may not even be able to fake, let alone actually exhibit." [National Review Online, 10/9/09]
Mickey Kaus: "Turn it down! Politely decline." On Slate.com, Mickey Kaus wrote that Obama should, "Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory-and helps solve his narcissism problem and his Fred Armisen ('What's he done?') problem, demonstrating that he's uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he's started to realize it." [Slate.com, 10/9/09]
Weekly Standard's Ham: "I would heartily approve" of Obama declining award. Weekly Standard blogger Mary Katharine Ham wrote of Kaus' "great suggestion": "I think I would heartily approve of Obama's doing it, and I'm a rather tough audience for him. Could his ego allow it?" [Weekly Standard, 10/9/09]
Jeffery Goldberg: "It might be smart for Obama to turn this prize down, at least until he achieves peace somewhere." On his Twitter feed, The Atlantic's Jeffery Goldberg wrote that "[i]t might be smart for Obama to turn this prize down, at least until he achieves peace somewhere. Or trade for Olympics."