“You’ve won it, now earn it.”

Those words, on a large banner unfurled by protesters outside yesterday’s glittering Nobel Prize presentation ceremony in Oslo, perfectly capture the zeitgeist not just over the Peace Prize, but the Obama presidency in general.

A year after he won it, the president with the golden tonsils has yet to earn it on four excruciatingly difficult issues — climate change, Afghanistan, US health care and the economy. And on each issue the drumbeat is getting louder, the pressure inside Congress is growing and the probability of success is ratcheting up.

It is now a cliche to characterise Obama as a president with great potential. But as he now knows more than anyone, when it comes to the most scrutinised job in the world, winning it could be a lot easier than earning it.