Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama on Winning the Nobel Prize

There has been a lot of discussion on Obama's having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Setting aside what the unhinged wingers have to say, I've agreed with almost all of it. Of course Obama's accomplishments do not equal those of many deserving winners. Nobody claims they do. As I mentioned on FaceBook this morning, this is like an author's advance: you still have to write the book.

I think Obama gets it right in his statement this morning:

I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee. Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

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 -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build -- a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents. And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action -- a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.

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