I have posted the President's response to winning the Nobel Prize below. But first my thoughts.
My first response was surprise and then I thought the haters are going to have a field day with this and they have. I have not spent a lot of energy listening to what they have to say, it has all been pretty predictable and of course exaggerated. The same people who were happy when a great American city lost out on the Olympics are now unhappy they the world has embraced the American dream. Are these people really patriotic Americans and really how much do they love their country? Is their hatred for President Obama and their lust to return to power so strong that they do not realize that this is not just an honor for President Obama but an honor the American people who elected him?
As a nation we should be proud that our President has won this award. But, are we? Some of us are. I am. I admit that it may be a bit premature but the fact that the international community now views the President of the United States as a figure of hope is an honor that can not and should not be ignored. Ronald Reagan referred to America as a shining symbol of hope that the world looked up to. By awarding the President of the United States this award today the Nobel Committee acknowledges that.
This award will assist the President on the international stage. It reflects the international community's relief that change has come to Washington and that the United States is once again ready to lead not as a bully but from the bully pulpit. Awarding the Nobel Prize so early in his term is a down payment on the future of America's world leadership.
From the President:
This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I'd been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.
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 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.
That is why I've said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won't all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.
This award -- and the call to action that comes with it -- does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.
So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we've begun together. I'm grateful that you've stood with me thus far, and I'm honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.
President Barack Obama