Obama’s Nobel: A Chance for George W. Bush

Here’s a chance for George W. Bush to burnish that legacy that he all former Presidents want.

Former Presidents are in the legacy business.  With apologies to Brian Wilson, wouldn’t it be nice if we could get a statement out of the former President like this?

Laura and I join with all Americans in congratulating President Obama on his receipt of this great award.  We may have honest disagreements on many issues, but as patriots we should all be proud that our President is honored by the international community.

Somehow I’m not holding my breath, though.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

6 thoughts on “Obama’s Nobel: A Chance for George W. Bush”

  1. The Nobel to Obama is a slap in the face to Bush – because Obama's main accomplishment, for which he is receiving the prize, is that he is not Bush: he believes in dialog and negotiation, not saber-rattling or saber (etc) use.

    It's a kind of sigh of relief that the US, at least at the top, has returned to sanity in international relations.

    It's also intended to influence Obama's decisions in his three or four hottest spots: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine.

  2. Orrin Hatch said something like that on CNN this morning. He made it clear he didn't think much of Obama, but said that all Americans should be proud when the President wins the Nobel Prize.

  3. Sen. McCain did say something very similar this morning.

    I am with those who think that the Nobel Prize committee might have waited a year or so. With drone aircraft still dropping bombs in Afghanistan, I think that the committee is being a bit premature, especially if the administration goes ahead and escalates the ground war there. If, on the other hand, this prize has the effect of promoting an Obama diplomatic offensive, though, it will prove to have been a good move. Prizes were given for efforts in South Africa and Central America before they had borne fruit, so for the moment I am saying "OK, perhaps."

  4. This is a good thing in that it puts pressure on Obama to put his money where his mouth is. All the talk of getting out of Iraq, improving diplomatic relations, etc. needs to be backed by substantive action. He's done well so far on the foreign diplomacy issue, but its still entirely too early to judge the guy on this issue. This is definitely a nice boost though.

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