Obviously, it's a complete joke, and even Obama seems to think so. Drezner's got a secret look inside the deliberations, but I think this award clearly shows the monumental importance of the Gates/Crowley Beer Summit in which Obama achieved a never-before-accomplished feat: getting a white cop and a black intellectual to sit down and calmly chat over a brew or two.
No? Well you tell me, then.
Mankiw's got the best take so far.
UPDATE: Or maybe Bruschetta Boy does:
It is not really as if the Dalai Lama or Aung San Suu Kyi have actually achieved all that much either.
UPDATE II: Obama is really surprised:
Good morning. Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this morning. After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, "Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo's birthday!" And then Sasha added, "Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up." So it's good to have kids to keep things in perspective.
I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee. Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.
To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.