What was your first reaction when you heard the news about Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009? The president heard about it early Friday morning, when his staff woke him to the news that he had won the world’s top prize for peaceful leadership.
The Nobel Committee gave him the prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons …”
The committee’s announcement cited shared values as one of the reasons why Obama was selected: “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” (Read the complete announcement here.)
The announcement detonated the airwaves. Thousands of stories, commentaries, and posts appeared almost instantaneously—a mix of attacks, support, outrage, pride, defensiveness, and mockery.
Obama is being treated as a “global messiah,” said New York Times columnist David Brooks on PBS Newshour.
This accusation echoes sentiments we heard in the run up to the November 2008 election. A Republican ad called “The One” depicted Obama as a politician with a messiah complex. (I discussed this ad and its purpose last fall on OurValues.org, where you can see this video.)
What do you think of the Nobel Peace Prize going to Obama? Do you feel pride? Outrage? Indifference?
What do you think of the explosion of reactions to the Nobel Committee’s announcement?
Please tell us what you think! And stay tuned—we’ll be exploring the Nobel Prize announcement all this week on OurValues.org.
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