Barely a year into an American presidency, Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th president of the United States, sets a resounding landmark for mankind.
Unless you are a fortune-teller like me, you must have without doubt being blindsided by news of Mr. Obama winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Fortunately for you, we happened to have been in the same boat on the morning of October 9th, simply because of this unexplainable fact — my crystal ball has ceased to function whenever it has to predict with certainty the future of Mr. Obama.
Being a Nobel laureate of any kind is no small homage, you may for measure ask the select few who belong to the club. As a matter of fact, no living or dead Head-of-State anywhere has ever received the Peace Prize in his or her first year of office. The two American presidents who received the honor while in office, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, received the honor five and seven years, respectively, into their administrations.
That said, the ubiquitous query that has followed the announcement has been well-deserved. To say Mr. Obama has a concrete body of work deserving of such esteem at this point would be nothing short of kissing the man’s derriere.
At the same time, to continue in such argument is to not understand the enigma of Mr. Obama. For all those who continue to claim this is not Mr. Obama’s time – he may be deserving in the future, but not now – assuredly miss the mark.
Nothing about the man to date has been his time. Five years ago, he was a relatively unknown state senator. I remember him mentioning on Oprah, how a campaign advisor told him when he intended to run for the United States Senate – In politics, you’re only allowed one funny name; you can’t have “Barack” and “Obama” running for a national office. In essence telling him one of those names had to go in exchange for an all-American name. Today, Barack Obama not only became a United States Senator, Barack Hussein Obama became a United States president.
And what about when it came time to run for the presidency? Mr. Obama was not only out of line challenging the anointed Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton (which at the time made me feel so much pity for him over his supposed bad timing), he also assumed to accomplish a feat never seen in all of 232 years. The man with virtually no tangible record in public service was going to become the first African-American president of a nation that has never seen a Black man living in the master bedroom of its White House. A nation where generations of Blacks have given up on such prospects in their lifetimes.
Today we know the story, that “undeserving” chapter has been written. So you can imagine my awe and total state of wonderment when the chairman of the Republican National Committee, a Negro by the name Michael Steele, opened his mouth to utter sheer ugliness and classlessness in dismantling the essence of Mr. Obama on winning the award.
I have no problem with a man who intelligently disagrees with the president. I for one do wholesomely disagree with the president on issues such as his opposition to the use of harsh tactics in the interrogation of known terror suspects, his continued insistence on having the Congress repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
But to not offer your president a single word of kindness, not even a congratulatory hello for a record feat before delving into your diatribe, is pure lack of class and what gentlemen are not made of.
Mr. Steele has forgotten he will not even be in my column or on any national TV show today had it not been for the saving grace of Mr. Obama. As Deputy-Governor of the state of Maryland, Mr. Steel was not fit to run for the governor’s office when his term expired. And that which he did try on for size, the state’s Senate seat in Congress, he got walloped at the polls on Election Day. He was doomed for a life of irrelevance until the RNC sought a Black face to counter that of Mr. Obama’s. And thus, the ungrateful Michael Steele today became the first African-American chairman of a party that never cared to elect one, and for some reason feels the ultimate need to act as a bulldog for his controllers.
It cannot be said for certainty what will become of Mr. Obama in years to come. But one thing has been certain, admire his polity or not, he has been a favored man. Like Samson in the Christian Bible, it seems the only thing capable of shunting Mr. Obama’s rendezvous with a personal destiny is himself.
And so with a Nobel Prize in his first year, what shall follow the man in his second? Shall he turn water into wine? I’m afraid that feat has already been claimed by Jesus of Nazareth, and as such, Obama of Chicago will just have to pray the heavens for another wonder.