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Norwegian Rope-a-Dope

The New York Times reported that Jimmy Carter was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. But, the Times article goes on to say:

In remarks to reporters after the announcement, {Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairman Gunnar} Berge said that Mr. Carter had been nominated for the peace prize "many, many times" but that a major reason that he was finally selected was that he represented a counterpoint to the militancy of President Bush.

In many ways, it's surprising that President Carter would accept the award after the chairman of the committee put his selection in that context. His acceptance of the award may be considered by some further evidence of the end of the time-honored saying that American politics ends at the water's edge.

We view the explicit politicization of President Carter's award as an insult to both President Bush and President Carter. The Nobel Committee says that this is an opportunity for them to make up for the fact that they failed to award President Carter the Peace Prize in 1978 for his work on the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Agreement. But, their chairman's crude attempt at insulting President Bush makes this an even more hollow gesture than it otherwise would be.

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