In a stunning announcement, the Nobel Prize Committee has awarded the distinguished Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama. I’m not sure what to make of this. First of all, I’m extremely proud of Barack Obama with the direction that he has taken our country in the last nine months. No, I do not agree with every single one of his policies or actions. But, overall, I think he’s done a fantastic job with two wars and the worst economy in over 60 years.
Conservatives were cheering last week when President Obama went to the International Olympic Committee and made a plea for Chicago to become the site for the 2016 Olympics. As everyone knows, Chicago was voted out in the first round. Conservatives pointed at this as the result of Obama’s waning stardom. More insidiously, they implied that the prestige of the United States has been tarnished in some way. No one mentioned any of the obvious facts that surround the Olympic Committee’s decision. Nobody mentioned the chaos that surrounded the 1996 Olympics, which were held in Atlanta. Remember the bombing? That was a not good public relations move. Then, in 2002, Salt Lake City blew the whistle on the IOC. Salt Lake City exposed the corruption and the backroom deals that cities needed to make in order to win a lucrative bid. The members of the IOC could not have been pleased with this unwanted exposure. Finally, you can’t tell me that Barack Obama has erased eight years of bad feelings towards the United States. President Bush’s go it alone strategy has clearly angered the international community, which had to play a role in their decision. So, Barack Obama had little or no chance of bringing the Olympics to Chicago. I applaud him for going to bat for “his city.” If I were president, and Dallas, Texas was trying to bid for the Olympics, I would have to go to bat for Dallas. I grew up in Dallas. I love the place. I want to see it prosper.
So, as the day unfolds, look for conservatives to bash the Nobel Prize just as they did when Al Gore won. They will point to the Nobel Committee as a group of socialists or fascists. So, according to their mindset, a socialist has acknowledged and awarded another socialist when, in fact, the prize means much more than this. Barack Obama has taken a step towards changing how the world sees the United States. If you look at the world as a sandbox, President Bush made us look like the bully — you’re either with us or against us. President Barack Obama has faced the world and acknowledged our past mistakes. He also is acknowledged that together we can move forward and prosper. He has reached out to Europe, to the Muslim world and to our friends in Asia. I think that the world has responded positively to this fact. I think that this is a good thing, a very good thing.
Finally, Barack Obama is not the first sitting president to win a Nobel Prize. He is actually the third. Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson won the Nobel Prize and Jimmy Carter was distinguished by this great honor after he left office. Congratulations to president Barack Obama for winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize! Sweet!
Many people are saying that Barack Obama didn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. My response is if not him then who? Here are more than 30 reasons for Obama to get the Peace Prize:
Here is a brief list of some of the reasons President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize: (As a side note, it took me less than 45 minutes to compile this into a diary. It took me longer to fix my HTML errors than to find a short list of Nobel Prize-winning accomplishments by our President. I am sure I have missed MANY things.)
3/18/8 – Obama caught world-wide attention for his moving speech on race relations.
7/24/8 – Obama lays the foundation for a new era of international relations and began inspiring renewed hope in American leadership during his campaign speech in Berlin.
11/6/8 – Obama’s victory was hailed as a promise of hope for the world.
12/1/8 – Obama began plans to restore U.N. ambassador to cabinet rank.
1/22/9 – Appointed a Special Envoy for Middle East peace.
1/22/9 – Ordered the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
1/22/9 – Ordered comprehensive review of detention policies.
1/22/9 – Prohibited use of torture.
1/22/9 – Signed an executive order to close CIA secret prisons.
1/23/9 – Lifted “Global Gag Rule” on international health groups.
1/26/9 – Began to address climate change by increasing fuel standards for automobiles.
1/26/9 – Appointed Special Envoy for Climate Change.
1/27/9 – Signed Lily Ledbetter “Fair Pay” Act.
2/1/9 – Expanded healthcare for children by signing SCHIP.
2/5/9 – Again addressed energy conservation by increasing standards for appliances.
2/24/9 – Directed almost $1 billion for prevention and wellness to improve America’s health.
2/25/9 – Initiated international efforts to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.
2/27/9 – Committed to responsibly ending the war in Iraq.
4/1/9 – Agreed to negotiation of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.
4/1/9 – Enhanced U.S. – China relations.
4/2/9 – Led global response to the economic crisis through the G20, obtaining commitments of $1.1 trillion to safeguard the world’s most vulnerable economies.
4/4/9 – Renewed dialog with NATO and other key allies.
4/5/9 – Announced new strategy to responsibly address international nuclear proliferation.
4/13/9 – Began easing tension with Cuba through new policy stance.
4/17/9 – Secured $5 billion in aid commitments “to bolster [Pakistan’s] economy and help it fight terror and Islamic radicalism.”
4/22/9 – Developed the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.
5/8/9 – Proposed International Affairs budget that included funds to create a civilian response corps — teams of civilian experts in rule of law, policing, transitional governance, economics, engineering, and other areas critical to helping rebuild war-torn societies; Provided $40 million for a “stabilization bridge fund,” which would provide rapid response funds for the State Department to help with an international crisis situation.
6/4/9 – Gave historic address to the Muslim World in Cairo – “American is not at war with Islam.” Foreign affairs experts insist that Obama’s engagement with the Muslim world has been remarkable. “He has been able to dramatically change America’s image in that region.”
8/4/9 – Used DIPLOMACY to free two American journalists from a North Korean prison.
9/18/9 – De-escalation of nuclear tension through repurposing of missile defense prompting Russia to withdraw its missile plan.