My first reaction reading a mention of this in another blog: "is it April Fool's Day?" or "is she posting about what she's been dreaming?"
A cursory google search with the words "Obama" and "Nobel" leads me to various newspapers around the globe all stating "shock" or "surprise" as Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize for diplomacy.
Don't get me wrong, I'm DELIGHTED! But I do wonder if they've jumped the shark a bit (right expression?)... I mean, he's just starting out! Was elected less than a year ago and hasn't had time to get much of substance done yet, too soon.
Even more surprising when I read in an Australian newspaper that the nomination deadline (Feb 1st) for the prize was just 2 weeks after Obama was sworn in, who had the idea to nominate him way back then when he was barely moving into the White House?! Hmm, I recommend you click on that link to the Oz article, there are some interesting quotes and comments in there! Here are a few words they've got from the Nobel Committee chairman:
"If you look at the history of the Peace Prize, we have on many occasions given it to try to enhance what many personalities were trying to do."
"Before he took office the situation was so dangerous. Step by step, he has given the message to the world that he wants to negotiate on all conflicts, strengthen the UN and work for a world without any nuclear arms."
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," Mr Jagland said.
"In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the UN, for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations."
He added that the committee endorsed "Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges'."
In other words this year they're being optimists, hoping for a brighter future and the development of "a new climate in international politics". I hope he proves them right and makes us all proud. :o)
Here's the link (via the NYTimes) to Obama's statement this morning. My favourite part (after the reference to his wake-up call):
"I 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.
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."
Oh, and to finish off, I thought this quote in the Ozzie article was quite amusing:
Sydney Peace Foundation director Stuart Rees: "We've all got our fingers crossed (Obama) can wave his magic wand and make these things happen. Perhaps the Nobel organisation wants to give him a magic wand,"
Perhaps we should ask J.K. Rowling to formulate said spell I'm sure Hermione could come up with something! ;o)