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Obama himself admitted to being surprised at the decision.

This award is about what non-Americans think of him.

I think it is a bit premature, but he is firmly on track to earn it eventually. I don’t think many Americans appreciate how much he is respected outside their country. Sure, some of that is due to his predecessor being a numbskull, but his intelligence, education, and good manners have won a lot of foreigners over. He has created a new climate in international politics.

His initiatives on nuclear arms proliferation have certainly stimulated new dialogue and a revived interest in this vital peace initiative. He has indisputably forced the USA to play a more constructive role in climate change. Inevitably this henerates a lot of hope for peace in the world.

Some of the earlier comments here are derisory. Obama has absolutely no responsibility for the national debt that he inherited, only for his actions to reduce it. It is unreasonable to expect him to have a nothing presidency because he devoted all his energy and national resources to resucing the debt created by his predecessor. He would be given no credit for doing that. If he had not reacted to the GFC with stimulus spending he would have appeared inferior to every other national leader in the developed world: correctly.

Obama has to show his detractors that he can lead the country and the world. Also the DEMS have to be given the opportunity to redress the damaged cause by the previous administration and show what they stand for.

Obama is smart enough to understand that this award is really designed to spur him on to some real achievements in ths area rather than to acknowledge his achievements so far. As he said:
“I know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievements,” Obama said, adding, “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.”

So the award was a very good move, and he was right to accept it.

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