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The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."

The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

Speculation had focused on Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator and a Chinese dissident, along with an Afghan woman's rights activist.

Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.

President Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama on Friday won the Nobel Peace Prize, a stunning choice of an official who had been in office for less than two weeks before this year's nomination deadline.

"The Nobel Prize committee has its own rules and they may decide anything they want. They may decide that encouragement is part of the experiment," Wiesel said, noting Obama's short tenure as president.

"So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act," said former Polish President Lech Walesa, a 1983 Nobel Peace laureate, of Obama.

"This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let's see if he perseveres. Let's give him time to act," Walesa said.

President Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided not to inform Obama before the announcement because it didn't want to wake him up, committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.

"Waking up a president in the middle of the night, this isn't really something you do," Jagland said

The award appeared to be a slap at Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

In a surprise, Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Well, it's obvious that Obama did not win the prize because he has actually accomplished anything towards peace, but that some people think he could possibly accomplish peace. Now we're giving preemptive prizes? And they did not notify him cause they did not want to wake him up? Have they ever said this before to anybody else?

Posted: 2009-10-09 08:54:39

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