News

    Obama Prepares to Accept Nobel Peace Prize

    Less than a year after he took office, U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to go to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. He says he is humbled by the award and not sure he has done enough to warrant such a high honor. A new public opinion poll in the United States shows a solid majority of Americans agree.

    President Barack Obama reacting to his Nobel Peace Prize
    President Barack Obama reacting to his Nobel Peace Prize

    Less than a year after he took office, U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to go to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.  He says he is humbled by the award and not sure he has done enough to warrant such a high honor.  A new public opinion poll in the United States shows a solid majority of Americans agree.

    "The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama," said Thorbjoern Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Committee.

    Thorbjoern Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Committee
    Thorbjoern Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Committee



    The choice for the 2009 Peace Prize took the world by surprise. Even the president was stunned.

    "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," said President Obama.

    A new poll shows Americans overwhelmingly agree.

    "26 percent of Americans think that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, obviously not a very large number," said Peter Brown.

    Thorbjoern Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Committee
    Thorbjoern Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Committee



    Peter Brown is director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, which surveyed roughly 2,300 Americans about the Nobel Prize. He says only 49 percent of Democrats, the president's own party, support the prize.

    "Eight percent of Republicans think he deserves the award - that's a fairly  low number," he said. "And, interestingly, 19 percent of independents think he deserves the award.  Clearly, Democrats to a much larger degree than anyone else, but still, not even a majority of Democrats think he deserves the award."

    Those views are expressed on the streets of America.

    In New York...

    "I think maybe they should have waited a little bit," said Isaac Bonilla.

    "This is a signal to the United States by the rest of the world that we did something very right in the election of Barack," said David Imig.

    And in Chicago...

    "As much as I like Barack Obama, I just don't know that he has done enough to warrant such an honor," said Ed Staub.

    The president has admitted as much. He says sometimes the Nobel Prize is awarded not to honor specific achievement, but to give momentum to a set of causes.

    "And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century," said Mr. Obama.

    The White House says Mr. Obama's Nobel lecture in Oslo will build on those themes.  But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the president also will talk about the reality of being a Nobel peace laureate who is leading a nation at war.

    "We'll address directly the notion, I think, that many have wondered [about], which is the juxtaposition of the timing for the Nobel Peace Prize and his commitment to add more troops into Afghanistan," said Robert Gibbs.

    The war weighs on President Obama as he joins the distinguished ranks of Nobel Peace Prize recipients - men and women such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Aung San Suu Kyi.  He acknowledges his accomplishments pale by comparison, and suggests his award may be more about the notion of hope.
     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora