The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the President’s “efforts to strengthen international diplomacy,” his “vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons” and for inspiring hope and creating “a new climate in international politics.”
Obama responded to the honor saying he was surprised and deeply humbled. “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,” hesaid. “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.”
And what did all the critics say? “Apparently Nobel Prizes are now being awarded to anyone who is not George Bush,” Air America correspondent Ana Marie Cox wrote on Twitter. Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein also commented on Twitter: “Obama also awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry. ‘He’s just got great chemistry,’ says Nobel committee.”
The Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart wrote: “I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce.” And Michael Russnow wrote on the Huffington Post that he too is an Obama supporter but, “Whatever Happened to Awarding for Deeds Actually Done?”
horbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told the AP, “Some people say — and I understand it — ‘Isn’t it premature? Too early?’ Well, I’d say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now,” T “It is now that we have the opportunity to respond — all of us.”
Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to win the award after President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. He plans to donate the cash prize of $1.4 million to charity.