My old friend. I've been lax in reading you lately. Sumeet has taken you with him to work in his backpack, and I've consoled myself with New York magazine, drooling over apartment renovations. Still: a front-of-the-book piece on Obama winning the Peace Prize, absent lobbying? I swoon.
If President Obama really had to get a gift postmarked Scandinavia this month, he would probably, on the whole, have preferred the Olympics. At least at the Olympics the judges wait till after the race to give you the gold medal. They don't force it on you while you're still waiting for the bus to take you to the stadium. They don't give it to you in anticipation of possible future feats of glory, like a signing bonus or an athletic scholarship. They don't award it as a form of gentle encouragement, like a parent calling "Good job!" to a toddler who's made it to the top rung of the monkey bars. It's not a plastic, made-in-China "participation" trophy handed out to everyone in the class as part of a program to boost self-esteeem. It's not a door prize or a goody bag or a bowl of VIP fruit courtesy of the hotel management. It's not a gold star. It's a gold medal.