Charles Dawes

Hallelujah! President Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize!

Surprising but exciting news just occurred less than two hours ago when Norway announced that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize!

He was awarded the prize for promotion of diplomacy in the quest for world peace and his efforts to work toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.

Obama is the fourth President to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Theodore Roosevelt won it in 1906 for negotiating the end of the Russo Japanese War. Woodrow Wilson won it in 1919 for involvement in the negotiating of the Versailles Treaty after World War 1, although ironically, the US Senate refused to ratify the treaty or membership in the League of Nations. Jimmy Carter won it in 2002, more than 20 years after leaving office, for his promotion of free and fair elections in many countries around the world and his general efforts for world peace and diplomacy.

Additionally, two Vice Presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Charles Dawes, Vice President under Calvin Coolidge, won it in 1925 for negotiating the Dawes Plan, which lessened the debt burden on Weimar Germany that had been imposed on them by the Versailles Treaty. Al Gore won it out of office in 2007 for work on Global Warming and other environmental concerns.

This is a moment of rejoicing, but one wonders whether it will have any long range effects on diplomacy or domestic affairs. Also, it is certain that right wing talk show hosts and Fox will not see it as a plus or a victory for our nation, but rather as a negative in some fashion.

One thing is clear: We are in the midst of an historic Presidency, and I congratulate the President for this fantastic honor that has been bestowed upon him! 🙂