The Oracle at Oslo
Strange things happen in October. I could probably go so far as to say that strange things are normal for October. Anything can happen. Chris Duncan can turn into an evil spirit and invade other people’s bodies. The Angels can jump all over the Red Sox. And the still new President of the United States can win the Nobel Peace Prize before having done, well, anything.
But it’s not as though events like President Obama’s stunning win are without precedent. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the preseason 2008 Detroit Tigers. Many people, including myself, looked at that lineup and had them penciled in for the AL World Series slot. But, come October, the Tigers were sitting very pretty in last place.
I don’t mean to say that Mr. Obama will fail like the Tigers did but it’s a lot of pressure. It’s kind of like the Nobel committee said, “Hey, Obama. We’re going to give you this prize so that you can go out and achieve something. Now, prove us right.” That’s a tall order to fill in a country who’s political process runs at a snails pace during the best of times.
Look, I don’t understand why this happened just like I don’t understand how the Tigers were so awful last year or how they managed to lose the division on the last day of the season this year. But if it gives the president the political capital to pull off some stunning successes with respect to health care and US foreign policy, we’ll all be able to sit back and admit that the Nobel committee is a modern Delphic oracle. If not, well, we’ll just say they’re a lot like me circa February 2008.