Obama's Nobel Win: A "Mission Accomplished" Moment?

(AP Photo/Torbjorn Gronning)
Today's Nobel Peace Prize announcement raises the question: Is a negative caricature of President Obama now fully developed?

One thing that eluded Mr. Obama during his presidential campaign was that he was never successfully lampooned by the Republican Party.

Unlike past failed Democratic presidential candidates, the president avoided being stereotyped as "all talk, but no substance" last year, no matter how hard the GOP tried. And the Republican Party has a long history of successfully mocking their opponents in simple, negative and ultimately effective terms.

Remember in 2000 when Al Gore was painted as a serial exaggerator with a boring, stiff, and overall uncomfortable persona? Or John Kerry in 2004 as a "flip-flopper" who didn't really "earn" his Purple Hearts and ultimately dishonored his fellow troops when he returned from Vietnam?

Republicans failed to make anything stick to Mr. Obama in 2008. All their efforts to paint him as radical or not American or inexperienced didn't work.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Well, today's announcement - while totally out of the president's control - finally may have handed his critics their own "Mission Accomplished" moment.

Like the Democrats did after President Bush prematurely declared the Iraq war "accomplished" on that aircraft carrier in 2003, the right is already using the Nobel prize as an opportunity to hammer Mr. Obama for not having accomplished what he's being honored for.

"The real question Americans are asking is, 'What has President Obama actually accomplished?'" Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said in a statement.

"It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights," he added.

"I don't believe this," Rush Limbaugh exclaimed on his radio show this afternoon. "He's not only the first post-racial president, he's the first post-accomplishment president. He's now judged on wishful thinking."

The president hasn't "done diddly-squat" to deserve it, Limbaugh added.

But it's not just the harsh rhetoric from the right - rhetoric that will only grow louder over the weekend on the Sunday talk shows - that threatens the president.

It's the comedy gold that the blogosphere as well as the late night talk show hosts and "Saturday Night Live" will exploit to no end.

In fact, there's already a joke formula that's exploded: fill in the blank with your favorite award (Oscar, American Idol, etc.) and say that President Obama has already won it without accomplishing anything to deserve it.

And give credit to the folks at "SNL" who were a week early when they mocked Mr. Obama as all talk and no action last Saturday.

"When you look at my record," said SNL actor Fred Armisen as President Obama. "It's very clear what I've done so far -- and that is nothing."

Today's announcement only serves as more fodder for Mr. Obama's critics, dumping more fuel on the "all-flash-with-few-results" persona that they tried so hard to trump up last year and now, to their glee, may be fully developed.

More CBSNews.com Coverage on Obama Winning the Nobel Peace Prize:

Obama: Nobel Prize a "Call To Action"
Analysis: Nobel Peace Prize Doesn't Help Obama
The Audacity of the Nobel Committee
Nobel Peace Prize an Unprecedented Honor for Obama
Obama's Next "Most Important Speech"
Placing a Wager on Peace
Nobel Peace Prize Shocks Bloggers: "This is Insane"

Obama's Remarks: Video Text
Politics of Obama's Nobel Win
Washington Unplugged: Nobel Prize "Complicates Things" for Obama
Nobel Peace Prize Photos
What's Your Opinion?



Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' Political Director. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.
  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.

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