This morning, United States President Barack Obama became the fourth president to win the Nobel Peace Prize, joining Theodore Roosevelt (1906), Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Jimmy Carter (2002). The Prize will be awarded in Oslo, Norway on December 10.
Unlike the other four Nobel Prizes awarded annually – which recognize completed scientific or literary accomplishment – the Nobel Peace Prize may be awarded to persons or organizations that are in the process of resolving a conflict or creating peace. Obama’s initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world, and his commitment to diplomacy and cooperation over unilateralism are cited as reasons for his winning the award.
We see Obama’s diplomacy and cooperation domestically in the health reform debate. He has continued to seek a consensus, offering his hand and ear to his political opponents. His Administration as a whole has been marked by a lack of overt partisanship as he has sought to raise the level of political discourse.
Whatever your politics, all Americans have reason to be proud this morning for having elected a transformative figure in the person of President Obama. We hope the Nobel will be one of many encouragements for a new way of engaging the world and also engaging the political forces here at home.
Congratulations, Mr. President.