President Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

By
Photo: Getty Images

Taking absolutely everyone by total surprise, President Obama — yes, the same guy who has been in office for little more than nine months now — has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Some people are finding this a bit odd, considering that Obama is currently commanding troops in two wars, and, let's face it, doesn't have a ton of concrete international accomplishments under his belt. But the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in announcing its decision, said Obama earned the award (and its $1.4 million prize money) "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," especially his "vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons." Nobel chairman Thorbjorn Jagland told reporters, "We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future but for what he has done in the previous year. We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do." The shock decision comes a week after another shock decision — Chicago's loss in the first round of Olympic balloting, despite the very visible support of the Obamas — leading critics to claim that the president's sheen had worn off, that his influence had already waned, and that the world thought just as little of America as it had for years. They might need to rethink that now.

In Surprise, Obama Wins Nobel for Diplomacy [NYT]