Despite the fact that even President Barack Obama wasn’t sure that his record warranted a Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is defending the decision.
On Friday, after admitting that he was “surprised and deeply humbled” by the honor, Obama said, “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 — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.”
However, “In rare comments to media, committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland tells The Associated Press that ‘we simply disagree that he has done nothing. He got the prize for what he has done.'”
The AP story adds, “Jagland says Obama reached out to the Muslim world and ‘modified’ a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.”
“Jagland and three other members of the five-seat Nobel panel told the AP that they had expected criticism of their decision,” the article continues. “One of them, Aagot Valle, said some of the criticism was patronizing toward Obama.”
As RAW STORY reported on Friday, “Some members of the U.S. press reacted with jokes and puzzled musings Friday morning after waking up to learn President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.”
There was light-hearted ribbing, like Ezra Klein, a blogger for the Washington Post, who twittered “Obama also awarded Nobel prize in chemistry. ‘He’s just got great chemistry,’ says Nobel Committee,” and Time’s Karen Tumulty who wondered “Has anyone asked Kanye West what he thinks of Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize?”
ABC’s Jake Tapper even noted “apparently the standards are more exacting for an ASU honorary degree these days,” referencing Arizona State’s decision to hold off on the giving Obama an honorary degree until he’d had time to accomplish more.
“It’s normally awarded to someone who has been in their field for some time,” an ASU spokeswoman said at the time. “Considering that the president is at the beginning of his presidency, his body of work is just beginning.”