is less than nine months into his presidency,
yet has won the Nobel
Peace Prize for his efforts towards
restoring international relations around
the world. While some people agree that
Obama has made significant strides during
his presidency, some critics argue that
the Nobel Prize was not yet earned by
the new President.
to the Nobel committee, the prize was
awarded for "extraordinary efforts
to strengthen international diplomacy
and cooperation between peoples,"
leaving most to assume the award was given
for promises and efforts rather than for
accomplishments. US politicians on both
sides immediately began arguing that Obama
won for his speeches instead of his actions
and still others argue that the award
was given as a gesture of rejection towards
Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush.
Nobel committee, however, argues that
the award was given based on Obama's efforts
to restore diplomacy and work towards
nuclear disarmament so soon into his presidency.
Thorbjorn Jagland, the Nobel committee
chairman adds to this, stating that the
Nobel Prize is awarded to the individual
"who has done the most in the previous
year to enhance peace in the world"
and that Obama's efforts have shown his
strength towards peace.
was surprised to receive the award and
immediately expressed his response as
being "deeply humbled." He continued
his response in the Rose Garden at the
White House saying "I do not feel
that I deserve to be in the company of
so many of the transformative figures
who have been honored by this prize, men
and women who've inspired me and inspired
the entire world through their courageous
pursuit of peace."
also said he would accept the award as
a "call to action." and as an
encouragement for all nations to continue
the pursuit of peace into the next century.
He will travel to Oslo on December 10
to accept the prize of $1.4 million, all
of which will be donated to charity according
to White House officials.
in Washington have mixed feelings about
the award. Many republicans, for example,
expressed their disbelief by trying to
portray Obama as unworthy of the prize.
Like others, their arguments questioned
what the president had actually accomplished
during his presidency.
the opposition, however, supporters of
the prize argue that not only does it
show what Obama has accomplished with
his words around the world, but how the
world views the new leader. Nicolas Sarkozy,
for example, said the award marks "America's
return to the hearts of the world's people."
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany,
agreed, saying the prize is "an incentive
to the president and to us all" to
work harder towards peace.
House officials first heard the news in
an email around five in the morning titled
"item of interest." Robert Gibbs,
the White House press secretary woke Obama
with a telephone call shortly before 6am
to share the news.
addition to their praise of Obama's work
towards peace, the Nobel committee also
said that "only very rarely has a
person to the same extent as Obama captured
the world's attention and given its people
hope for a better future. His diplomacy
is founded in the concept that those who
are to lead the world must do so on the
basis of values and the attitudes that
are shared by the majority of the worlds's
only other US Presidents to receive the
award while in office were Theodore Roosevelt
and Woodrow Wilson. Roosevelt won it in
1906 for negotiating the end of the war
between Japan and Russia and Wilson won
in 1919 for the Treaty of Versailles.
President Jimmy Carter won in 2002 for
his work to promote development and peace.
Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel Peace
Prize in 2007 (shared with the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change) for his work
to reduce global warming and promote understanding
and prevention of climate change.