Den anerkjente amerikanske journalisten og forfatteren George Packer skriver i The New Yorker at Barck Obama burde avslå Fredsprisen. Prisen kan bli en belastning for Obama, og forsterke det som allerede nå er en tendens: Obama er et ikon internasjonalt, men blir dømt for hva han har utrettet på hjemmebane, og jo større beundring ute, jo strengere bedømmes han hjemme.
Prisen ser ut til å være en pris beregnet på europeerne, ikke amerikanerne, skriver Packer.
President Obama should thank the Nobel committee and ask them to hold on to the Peace Prize for a couple more years. The prize should be awarded for achievement, not aspiration, and so far Obama’s main achievement has been getting elected President, which is in a different category. He shouldn’t contribute to the unfair accusation that he is all talk by accepting an award based on speeches he gave in Berlin, Prague, and Cairo. Europeans’ relief in seeing the last of George W. Bush and their adoration of Obama are entirely understandable, but in the U.S. we’ve moved on from November 4, 2008, and these days Obama is—in a way that’s both inevitable and healthy—a working President, with his share of troubles and mistakes, who is trying to get some difficult things done but hasn’t come close to accomplishing them yet. This seems like a prize for Europeans, not Americans, and I worry that at home it will damage him politically by reinforcing the notion that he is—and will be—a world icon rather than a successful President. I don’t mind him being the former, but I most want him to be the latter. Not even a Rookie of the Year is ready to be elected to the Hall of Fame. I’m afraid this prize will be bad for Obama. For political reasons and on the merits, he should paraphrase Shakespeare to the Nobel committee: «As you shall prove me, praise me.»