Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

President gets top international plaudit

Peace, man
Peace, man

At the Danish Ministry for Climate and Energy this morning, staffers burst excitedly upon our group of American journalists with the news that President Barack Obama had just won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Scandinavia is a fun place to be when your guy wins the Norwegian gold medal – we heard the news about an hour before Obama himself.

Among those we chatted with here, Obama's selection, so early in his presidency, was seen as rewarding his shift in U.S. foreign policy. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which is elected by their leftist Parliament, referenced Obama's shift toward conflict-solving through diplomacy and international cooperation, and away from Bush-style unilateralism. The Nobel Committee cited his creation of "a new climate in international politics" and the increase in hope globally created by Obama's calls for peace.

Indirectly, of course, the prize also is seen as a criticism of Bush. As reported by Yahoo News, since Obama took office, "a 25-nation poll of 27,000 people released in July by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found double-digit boosts to the percentage of people viewing the U.S. favorably in countries around the world." But Obama still has much work to do in realizing the promise of his policies, of course.

Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard had much to say about Obama when she appeared for our interview. More about that in a few minutes …

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Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize

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