Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize
President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to improve international diplomacy and rid the world of nuclear weapons. The reaction from all corners of the world was one of excitement, optimism and pointed criticism.
As for the president's reaction, he indicated that he was "both surprised and deeply humbled." He also indicated later in the day that he will donate the $1.4 million prize to charity. He also said that the award wasn't necessarily recognizing his own accomplishments but rather a venue to showcase shared goals.
In the White House Rose Garden he stated, "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."
As such, he indicated that he'll accept the prize as "a call to action" regarding nuclear weapons, climate change and religious discord.
Although many people are astonished by the award since the deadline for nominations was February 1, leaving him in office as the President of the United States of America for less than two weeks, others are saying recognition is recognition and the award is good news for the country.
The committee praised President Obama for his efforts toward international diplomacy.
In particular, they applauded his call for a planet free from nuclear weapons which was the main topic in his April 5 speech in Prague. The committee stated, "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 attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."
This accolade for President Obama is shared among two other sitting US presidents. Woodrow Wilson won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 after he founded the League of Nations and worked on the Treaty of Versailles -- as for the other sitting president? Theodore Roosevelt won the prize in 1906 for his instrumental work in ending the Russo-Japanese war.
Reactions over the weekend in this country were mixed, but are moving towards excited. When the right-wing TV host with the most Bill O'Reilly takes to the airwaves and mutes the criticism by calling the Peace Prize victory a victory for America, the magnitude of the award for the country is now being felt.