Whoa! Is anyone NOT surprised Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?
The Nobel announcement was a stunning decision that comes just eight months into Obama's presidency.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it honored Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
The decision appeared to catch most observers by surprise.
The president had not been mentioned as among front-runners for the prize, and the roomful of reporters gasped when Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Nobel committee, uttered Obama's name.
The Nobel committee recognized Obama's efforts to solve complex global problems including working toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
"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," the committee said.
Jagland said the decision was "unanimous" and came with ease.
He rejected the notion that Obama had been recognized prematurely for his efforts and said the committee wanted to promote the president just as it had Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 in his efforts to open up the Soviet Union.
According to Alfred Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Based on that, there's no question that Obama has not done enough to warrant this award. The chairman of the committee admits that with the statement "the committee wanted to promote the president" and admits to doing the same thing with Gorbachev. So this award is strictly for political purposes.
"[Obama's] 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," it said.
The announcement caught the White House off guard. One senior administration official said "we were quite surprised."
As is the rest of the world.
Stay tuned for the hyperpartisans who will find a way to blame Obama for receiving an award he has no influence over after cheering his "failure" of not having enough influence to get the Olympics held in Chicago.
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