Vol. 7, Issue 3, October 13, 2009
Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize for Not Being G.W. Bush
The Nobel Committee announced Friday that the annual peace prize was awarded to Barack Obama, just nine months into his presidency, "for his extraordinary efforts to not be George W. Bush, including the newly instated prohibition on Western wear in the Oval Office."
The announcement stunned people from Norway to the White House, which is not used to hearing good news and seemed skeptical when the Nobel Committee called.
"We thought it was some kind of Scandinavian version of 'Punked'," said Rahm Emanuel. "I mean, not being Dubya is sort of a given for us; we don't really see it as a policy per se."
The committee differed, however, in its assessment of the White House's approach to governance, noting that "WWWND?" wristbands were distributed to staffers as soon as Obama was inaugurated ("What would W Not Do?")"
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and succeeded in embodying the complete opposite of an outwardly affable Texan," said the committee in its citation. "He represents such diametrically opposed characteristics to his predecessor, ranging from his erudition to his mature diplomatic approach to his parenting skills, that we believe a more complete opposite could only be possible with divine intervention, and possibly a sex-change operation. Plus, we felt he deserved some sort of consolation prize for not getting the Olympics." Sources indicate that Obama clinched the award when he successfully ate an entire bag of pretzels without choking last week.
News of the announcement was met with puzzlement even among Obama's supporters, many of whom would have preferred that the president have a chance to build more of a track record in office before being considered for the Nobel Prize.
"There are about six billion people who aren't George W. Bush," said Jeffrey Goldberg, senior analyst for the Brookings Institution. "It seems counterintuitive, not to mention ruinously expensive, to start giving out awards for people based on who they are not. Moreover, affirming a negative is just going to lead to more double-negatives and other grammatical problems."
Meanwhile, Republicans are furiously searching, largely in vain, for Norwegian products to boycott in protest of the decision.
"I don't think Norway makes anything other than Nobel peace prizes," fumed Rush Limbaugh in his Friday morning radio address. "Let's start boycotting Swedish stuff instead; maybe Sweden will get annoyed enough to do something about their out-of-control neighbor. They're all Scandinavian anyway. So everyone go picket your nearest Ikea and let the air out of some Volvo tires pronto."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost a closely contested race with Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008, had a strained expression upon hearing the news.
"I bet they would have been happy to award the prize to America's first female president in only eight months," she said. "Just saying."