Was Obama Nominated for his Nobel before he was even President?

"The stunning decision to honor Obama just nine months into his first term caught even the White House off guard," gasped the New York Times last week.

Ah..no, Grey Lady. Much MORE stunning was Obama's nomination for the prize perhaps while Michelle was still pondering color schemes for White House furniture--or perhaps before her husband was even President.

On one hand we have Stalin's star pupil, Fidel Castro, hailing Obama's Nobel prize. "Many will say that Obama has not yet earned the right to receive such a distinction." he wrote in "We prefer to see the decision as not so much a prize for the president of the US, but as a criticism of the genocidal policies pursued by a few presidents of that country, who led the world to the crossroads it is at today."

On the other hand, a point-blank witness to genuinely "genocidal policies," former Soviet dissident Elena Bonner who lost most of her family to Stalinism has a different take. Today the 86 year old widow of Soviet dissident and Nobel prize winner himself, Andrei Sakharov, chimes in on the Obama prize:

"With this award, the Nobel committee has violated its own principles. More than against Obama, my opinion is aimed against the Nobel Committee, for whom I have no respect. "

Mrs Bonner recalls that in 1978, her husband had nominated a group of Soviet Human Rights activists for the Nobel prize--but these were promptly rejected by the Nobel Committee.

Reason? Well, they'd been nominated on Feb. 8th 1978, a week after the deadline for such nominations. Then Mrs Bonner discloses a fascinating and unreported aspect of the prize: "For consideration by the Nobel Committee, the nominees must be submitted by Feb. 1st of the year during which the prize is granted." She writes. "This means Obama was nominated ten days into his term--or perhaps, even while he was a candidate.

"How easily politicians, financiers and big businessmen nowadays skirt moral, ethical and legal norms for partisan political or personal gain," adds Mrs Bonner/Sakharov.
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