WASHINGTON – He’s the Nobel Peace Prize winner who just ordered 30,000 more troops to war. He’s the laureate who says he doesn’t deserve the award. He’s not quite 11 months on the job and already in the company of Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama.
This is President Barack Obama’s Nobel moment, an immense honor shadowed by awkward timing.
When Obama leaves for Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday to be lauded for his style of international diplomacy, he goes knowing that the American people are more concerned about something else: peace of mind.
The economy has left millions of them hurting. The mood of the country is dispirited – more people than not think the nation is going in the wrong direction – and soothing news is tough to find. Unemployment is in double digits even as the bleeding of jobs has slowed.
Meanwhile, there is no hiding the contrast of war and peace.