The below entry is the one I submitted to The Washington Post for it's Next Great Pundit contest. There were over 5,000 entries and only ten could make the next round. Needless to say, I didn't make the cut. It was limited to 400 words and maybe, with the way I normally express myself, the content was lacking. Nevertheless, I am use to taking constructive criticism, so I present to you my entry for the contest:
As I woke up October 9, 2009, the big story was going to be a rocket crashing into the surface of the moon, hoping to find some signs of water for future space explorations. While that event did happen, not living up to the hype I might add, a reality crashed on all of us, especially the President of the United States. That fact is that the trusted international mantle of leadership was handed back to us.
President Obama was surprisingly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace that same morning, and with it an awesome responsibility to walk the walk, after two years of talking the talk. Forty-one years ago, demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago shouted, “the whole world is watching!” The five members of the Nobel Prize for Peace Committee quickly reminded the President, and the United States as a nation, that the whole world is still watching, and waiting with hope.
The committee said they chose the President because of his diplomatic strategy of engagement rather than the unilateral approach the previous administration practiced for eight years. The question becomes now: Can that approach work in the current world we live in?
President Obama embodied a symbol of change for Americans, invoking an image of hope and energy. The fact that the majority of American voters elected him to be President sent a message to the world that the America their ancestors talked about and sought, to either visit or live in, had returned, that ever-shining beacon of hope in the world.
After World War II, the world entrusted America to be the economic and military superpower, but lately it seemed as though the luster in America’s star had dimmed severely as our stewardship of that trust was questioned. Now, after nine months in office, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize sends a message that the luster could return and that the President is on the right path to make that happen.
As a citizen of the world, I hope that the President is successful in his strategy of engagement. As an American, while I am glad that he has secured such a distinguished honor, I just hope that he can take that mantle of international leadership and deliver on the promise it symbolizes, while at the same time making our nation better place for us to live.