Commentary: Obama critics try scoring cheap political points with Nobel Peace Prize

The Myrtle Beach Sun NewsOctober 13, 2009 

We'd rather have the world hating and despising us instead of extending olive branches.

One week, critics of President Obama cheered and gloated that "the world rejected Obama" when we missed out on the 2016 summer Olympics.

The next, the president is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the people who cheered "the world rejected Obama" are offended a prominent world body embraced him.

I don't know what criteria the Norwegian Nobel Committee uses. But I know it has awarded serious attempts to bring peace at the beginning of those efforts, like when it named Desmond Tutu for his South African work -- a decade before the end of apartheid.

This country could have reacted by embracing what it really means, that the world has returned to us, that it once again sees us as that shining beacon on a hill.

According to the Nation Brand Index, which measures the image of 50 countries every year, the U.S. is No. 1 on the most admired countries list. It jumped from seventh because Americans of all stripes elected Obama, making the Nobel honor ours as much as his.

"In all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing," Simon Anholt, NBI's founder told Reuters. "Despite recent economic turmoil, the U.S. actually gained significant ground. The results suggest that the new U.S. administration has been well-received abroad."

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