In a surprising development, it was announced that President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. Though Mr. Obama has yet to do anything groundbreaking during his presidency (his ascent as the first Black President is impressive), the panel awarded him the Peace Prize because of what he is trying to do. Reducing nuclear arms, easing tensions with the Muslim world, and working towards a cooperative and diplomatic America were mentioned as reasons that he won. The award will help to “promote what he [Obama] stands for and the positive processes that have started now”.
President Obama had not been considered a front runner, was not mentioned by most experts, and didn’t even feel that it was a remote possibility. He was not yet even elected President when the nominations were due, and he had only been President for a few weeks before voting was completed. It was so far out of the realm of expectation that he had to be woken up to learn that he had won.
Obama becomes the fourth President of the United States to win this award. Theodore Roosevelt won it in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson won it in 1919. In 2002, Jimmy Carter also won the Nobel Peace Prize. Carter is the only President to win the award while out of office, while Obama becomes the third to win it in office.