From the New York Times:
OSLO (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
“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. “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.”
Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.
The committee said it attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
“Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.”
Oh, it’s going to be fun to watch the right wing go completely nuts over this. Expect the usual suspects to rail against those socialist Norwegians with their national health care and stuff, and I’m sure that at least one nutball is going to claim that the real reason President Obama went to Copenhagen last week wasn’t to campaign for the Chicago Olympics but to put the fix in for his win of the Prize. (Um, Copenhagen is in Denmark, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Nobel Prize, but all those Scandinavians look alike.)
It will also feed the meme that the Peace Prize, having gone in recent years to the likes of Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Yasir Arafat, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa, is a pale shadow of its former self and is now nothing but a sop for the bleeding heart liberals who do nothing but go around the world and try to get everyone to just get along. (I expect they’re forgetting that there was once a move afoot to petition the Nobel Committee to give the prize to George W. Bush. How’d that work out?) One talking point that’s already circulating (Juan Williams at NPR hinted at it) is that this isn’t about President Obama at all — what’s he done to deserve it? — it’s a slap in the face to the eight years of Bush’s neocon swagger. After all, peace has a well-known liberal bias.
Get the popcorn. Make it the good stuff, with real butter.