Well, he may have lost in his bid to win the 2016 Summer Olympics for his hometown of Chicago, but I guess his international standing has not totally eroded, as President Barack Obama was just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize nonetheless.
President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” a honor that came less than nine months after he made United States history by becoming the country’s first African-American president.
The award, announced in Oslo by the Nobel Committee while much of official Washington — including the president — was still asleep, cited in particular the president’s efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
“He has created a new international climate,” the committee said.
For Mr. Obama, one of the nation’s youngest presidents, the award is an extraordinary recognition that puts him in the company of world leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev, who won for helping to bring an end to the cold war, andNelson Mandela, who sought an end to apartheid.
Oh man that must tie the righties’ underwear up in knots. In fact…
But it is also a potential political liability at home; already, Republicans are criticizing the president, contending he won more for his “star power” than his actual achievements.
You know, actual achievements like 9/11, the failed response to Hurricane Katrina, disastrous missionless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the greatest economic meltdown since the Great Depression and other highlights of the Bush administration.
In one sense, the award was a rebuke to the foreign policies of Mr. Obama’s predecessor,George W. Bush, some of which the president has sought to overturn. Mr. Obama made repairing the fractured relations between the United States and the rest of the world a major theme of his campaign for the presidency. Since taking office as president he has pursued a range of policies intended to fulfill that goal. He has vowed to pursue a world without nuclear weapons, as he did in a speech in Prague earlier this year; reached out to the Muslim world, delivering a major speech in Cairo in June; and sought to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
“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 in its citation. “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.”
The world still looks to the United States for leadership, moral and otherwise. Here’s hoping President Obama has the strength, ability and opportunity to deliver on today’s recognition.