Does Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

October 9, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Obama had been awarded the prize for his calls to reduce the world’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons and work towards restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.

The committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

“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.”

The laureate wins a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish crowns (1.4 million dollars or 878,000 pounds).

Obama was one of a record 205 nominees for this year’s prize and the decision has come as a surprise to many. Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, had been tipped as one of the favourites.

Despite his ambitious international agenda, Obama is yet to make a significant breakthrough in the Middle East or effectively deal with the threat of Iran’s nuclear programme and his country is currently fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Has Obama done enough to justify winning the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who do you think should have won?


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

To the person who said the reason Obama won it is because of Bush and him loving war…I’d like to point out that Obama still has many troops in Afghanistan right now, and he’s possibly going to send 40,000 more. I’d like to say that although he wants to close down Guantanamo Bay, no progress has been made because America refuses to accept the prisoners and wants to cast them away to other countries. How can a person currently involved in a WAR win the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE? This is certainly screwed up.

Posted by Emma | Report as abusive

Two points. First, it is my understanding that the voting for the peace prize takes place early in the year. If that is true, then obama had just taken office and had not had time to accomplish anything. What then could be the basis for awarding him the prize?

Second, this award to obama follows numerous other silly naming of people like arafat, carter and gore for this “honor”. The Nobel Peace Prize lost its meaning a long time ago.

Posted by nolie | Report as abusive

The only thing positive that he has done is collect the back taxes owed by who he put into his cabinet. Other than that, he’s accomplished nothing except to authorize the doubling of the national debt.

Posted by Greg Dunlap | Report as abusive

I supported Obama for president.

I was ecstatic when he was elected.

I keep hoping he will deliver on some of the expectations he created.

I keep wondering why it seems so little has changed since the Bush administration.

I can’t understand giving the award to someone just for his renewal of some basic good manners around international diplomacy. I think the award winner should be someone with tangible results, and I hope he earns this award retroactively by accomplishing some of the things he has promised us (America) and the world

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

What’s next ….turning water into wine or satisfying the hungry with a some fish and bread?

Posted by Gare | Report as abusive

Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize may seem like an honour beyond the achievements of the person, but it is an affirmation of the hopes and dreams of the West for peace and understanding to make a comeback to global politics after centuries of internecine strife. In that sense I support the decision, which surely says to the world that we need men and women willing to break the cycle of recrimination, re-recrimination and so on.

So, from the antipodes, all the best to the one American president in my lifetime who appears to genuinely want to depart from remembering forever what once was, and who may be looking forward to a genuinely better future for all of us. There aren’t too many individuals who get that chance in the US. And there are certainly none outside that country.

Peter Strempel

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Obama had not been President for a full two weeks when the nominations for Nobel Peace Prize were closed. If, as some have suggested because, Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize for being the 1st black US president, I cannot think of anything more profoundly and overtly racist.

Puzzled, you bet. I woke up this morning thinking I was in Bizarro World. Like the old lady in the article I thought I missed something. Apparently today it is intentions which are important, not actual achievement.

Posted by Tim Watson | Report as abusive

This is a SAD SAD Day we are living in this Obamanation here called the United States…soon the name will change to USS of A (United Socialist States of America).

Well Well, the people of this world and country have been warped again by the far left media. Haha…good job, give him a prize and he will be our saviour foreeeevvveer!!! Jimmy Carter got one too, so that explains home much that prize is worth don’t it, eh?

Yes yes, so many people in this World of ours and the single most person that DOES NOT deserve it, gets it. This explains what is wrong with our world these days, yes it does. Our Obamanation has not done anything besides getting us into more debt debt debt and trouble.

What did the old G.I. Joe comic book Cobra Commander use to say about things…”We’ve all been suckered, sssszzzz”.

Your all under mind & media control!

Yes, he received the prize, but the question is, does he really deserve this Nobel Peace Prize? Obama himself, quote unquote said “I don’t deserve this” and I would have to agree with the man.

He’s sinking in the polls anyway, so he’ll be a four term president. They have to uplift his mojo somehow, and what better way to do it but with the nobel prize, sadly.

How can anyone anoint him anything, a god, a prize, with such short of a term and much too much to do and 3.3 years to go!? He hasn’t even made it through his first year for cryin’ out LOUD!? Just goes to show how the Liberal Media in our United Socialist States (USSA) has mind control over the populace, and knows exactly when and where AND HOW to control your mind….ZAP! So you’re Zombied out on Obama…zap zap, ahhhh, Yay! he won duh prize, yay! That prize won’t do a bit of good unless Iran detracts its nuclear arsenal.

As far as GW, he didn’t get us into a 9 Trillion dollar debt within one year of his presidency like Obamanation is doing. Obama has spent (is spending) more than our first pres George Washington through GW “combined!”…so YOU have gotta be kidding me, haha. Healthcare will break that number into the clouds and outer space too!

Besides, I’m not for Bush or Obama…you should read up on the Constitution Party someday…I was more so for Busch and McCain, and at lest they knew how to stand up to bullies like Saddam and Bin Laden, unlike Obama.

Nobel Prize…HA! He hasn’t done anything yet, even Jimmy Carter got one and you see how great he became, LOL!

I think Mr. Obama has accomplished a great deal since January. We’re now 1.4T in debt; we have exciting new “green” legislation in Cap and Trade that will raise the average American’s energy bill by over $3000/yr; we’re about to have government run healthcare, that the Congress has NO constitutional authority to regulate, that means I’ll be paying for the illegals and lazy; we have over 30 unconstitutional, unelected czars making public policy; we’ve given the IMF and Fed unbelievable control over US monetary policy; we’re cozier now with the UN than we’ve ever been, which means we’re more likely to be subjugated to the whims of other nations that care nothing about the US and American interests; we have a “President” that bows to foreign kings; we have government run private auto and insurance industries by all the bailout money; we have a civilian defense force instead of more police officers to keep us safe to look forward to, kinda like the brownshirts were in Germany during WWII; and we have the “President’s” party contemplating a second stimulus. See, we shouldn’t be critical of Mr. Obama – he has accomplished a great deal since he took office.

Posted by Ernie Davidson | Report as abusive

Further proof, if any were needed, that the Nobel Prize is an irrelevant joke, a tool of propaganda to further left-wing, anti-American interests. A man of integrity in Mr. Obama’s position would decline it.

Posted by Grammateus | Report as abusive

With the holidays right around the corner isn’t now a great time to start thinking about what to give those special people in your life? Well, have we got the answer for you!

The No-Bull Peace Prize!

That’s right, these days it doesn’t really matter what you have done to win a shiny, new Peace Prize, as long as your aspirations sound well-intentioned. Perfect for friends, family…. well…pretty much anyone who has a pulse and has ever thought of doing something nice for someone.

Sign up as a fan today and you will be added to the waiting list for our next truckload of medals arriving direct from Oslo!

*This is real (well not the “direct from Oslo” part) – although we ARE poking fun at the recent decision to choose a certain US President for the award, and we do believe this would make a funny gag gift, purchasing this medal will also serve a positive purpose – 50% of any profits will be donated to the real proponents of peace in the world – the US Military personnel.

Visit: php?gid=166200811788

Posted by Jody | Report as abusive

NEWS FLASH: George W. Bush upset today because he never won the Nobel War Prize.

Posted by J. Gibson | Report as abusive

The Nobel Committee should realize that by awarding an undeserved award it DOES NOT ELEVATE the status of the winner, but in contrast IT LOWERS the prestige of the award itself.

After this debacle, I can never look at the Nobel Prizes in the same honor and specialness that I did before.

maybe he will use the cash to help his step brother move out of the hut

Posted by dusty | Report as abusive

Undoubtedly Obama is a breath of fresh air compared to Bush and his lap dog Blair.

However, whilst the motives of the committee may be well intended, this award is premature and makes a mockery out of the Nobel peace prize, and not for the first time.

1994 Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister of Israel.
1994 Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel.
1978 Menachim Begin, Prime Minister of Israel.
1973 Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State, State Department, Washington.
1973 Le Duc Tho, Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. (Declined the prize.)

Only time will tell whether Obama is deserving of any awards.

Peter Franzen

Posted by peter franzen | Report as abusive

A heck of a lot of Norwegians (roughly 70% in a quick poll I saw at a major newspaper) are as puzzled, incredulous, and shocked as the rest of you and are opposed to awarding the prize to Mr. Obama for all manner of different reasons both good and bad. In addition many of us are ashamed of the choice made by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee as it’s nothing but politically corrupted sycophancy (as on many earlier occasions). The Prize has lost all its value over the past decades and should simply be ignored. So yes please ignore the prize as it’s not worthy of any attention and is being decided and awarded by some of the biggest fools in our country many of whom could be considered enemies of freedom. Many Norwegians feel ashamed to be Norwegians today, I am one of them.

Posted by En nordmann blant mange | Report as abusive

I don’t think Obama should have been awarded the nobel peace prize. Dozens of innocent civilians, including mothers and children, are still being killed due the senseless American war in Afganistan. It’s just like the Bush policy to invade and occupy Irag. Both wars were designed to subjugate and bully little struggling countries into giving up their resources to the rich. He is also a war-starved president. Not deserved.

Posted by julia jaipaul | Report as abusive

FBO (the BO is for Barack Obama) …

Posted by Ernie Davidson | Report as abusive

This is a real joke! What has this man done in all of his life to deserve anything? Anyway, if Kissinger, the war and peace criminal had won this same prize before him, then what do we have to complain about? This is a a prize reserved to War and Peace Criminals, and they call it The Noble Proze. There is nothing noble about sending pilotless drones to kill people partciating in weddings from miles in the sky!! There is nothing noble anout anything this man has ever done!!

Screw the world!

Posted by Mydream Ashtray | Report as abusive

Yet another example of how Europeans have become a silly people.

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive

Something is rotten in the state of Norway…

It’s becoming clear that the feeble minded members of the Nobel Peace Prize committee who voted for this ill conceived decision didn’t help the cause of peace or human rights, and managed to tarnish the image of the Nobel Peace Prize process.
So far it seems they even managed to splash Obama with ridicule, which apparently he doesn’t deserve.

Norwegians should hold them accountable for this mess, and hopefully by doing so they’ll repair some of the damage done.

Posted by Psss | Report as abusive

In related news, Obama was just announced as the 2009 AL MVP. He beat out Joe Mauer and Mark Teixeira, two guys who actually played this season and have tangible accomplishments to show for their efforts. The DNC released a statement saying that anyone who disagrees with Obama’s MVP selection hates baseball and, therefore, hates America, and should drop dead immediately. Obama is also the early favorite to win the 2009 NL MVP, which would make him the first person in history to win both awards in the same season. Said the President upon hearing the news: ‘Whoa! What about the Cy Young?’

Posted by Max | Report as abusive

It looks like the Nobel Peace Prize has become a popularity prize not a prize based on achievement.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

My 12 year old should get the Nobel Peace Prixe.

Obama is a joke. He is driving the United States of America into the ground.

In the next three months, when he has successfully dismantled all of our defenses, the terrorists will explode a nuclear weapon in a major U.S. city. Watch and see…sad but true.

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

Let’s see how ‘humble’ Obama really is. Suggest he gives the Peace Prize back, or to somebody who deserves it.

Posted by Katherine | Report as abusive

I am so disappointed in america, how unamerican we are acting, and how hateful we are. Our President is our President. Other Countries applaud…we turn our noses. I have 2 degrees. We are childishly picking on every action of our President. My eleven year old followed his campaign and so did the janitor at my office who listened to a rap song about OBama last week as he mopped the floor in the lobby. I drove through a neighborhood that i normally would lock my door in and a young african american man handed me an Obama pamplet on health care while wearing an Obama T-shirt. I pulled over and talked to him and he explained “…I never cared before. Now i am excited to step up and do something for my family”. If in your heart you dislike him for the half of him that is Black…please attempt to listen to the half that is white and recognize that he has called so many people to action and be passionate no matter what side of the fence you are on.

Posted by so sad | Report as abusive

You know how a box of Cracker Jacks use to have a legitimate and neat prize inside!? Well, have you had a box of Cracker Jacks lately and have you seen the prize you get…yes, you get The Nobel Peace Prize, YAY!

The Nobel Peace Prize went from something spectacular to something of a shame really, once they started handing it out like cheap candy at a holiday parade, just throwing out to the kids like candy, well, Obama just so happened to catch a piece of that candy. LMAO!

Posted by LMAO | Report as abusive

The irony in this discussion is that the U.S. is currently involved in two wars that were initiated, not because of what other countries actually DID, but because of the POTENTIAL that they MIGHT do something (!).

Somehow critics of Obama’s award feel that it is legitimate to wage war based upon the idea that potential, not activity, is a valid threat, yet these same persons hold that creating the grounds for peace does not constitute “real” action.

Posted by adam ayers | Report as abusive

What more Europeans can ask from U.S. president. He has bent over backwards to appease Europe (at the cost of US), has put personal likeability ahead of interest of the U.S.A and has taken this (please read NOT “his”) country on the path of failed economies of socialist bankrupts. It reflects more badly on Noble committee as it does not even pretend to have any sense of rationality.

Did he get it for being able “to breathe on his own?” Disgusting. He is only a “make believe”. eddie from Port Orange,Florida.

Of course he is not deserving of this award. I would recommend we rename the award the Goebbels award in honor of another great communicator that espoused peace.

Posted by J Miller | Report as abusive

This is a rhetorical question, right?

No one outside of a mental asylum can possibly argue this is deserving.

It’s made even worse by the fact that nominations occur much earlier in the year. Who is God’s name nominated him, and for what exactly?

Not only is he utterly undeserving to win, he’s utterly undeserving to have even been nominated!

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Top ten reasons for President Obama to win The Nobel Peace Prize:

10. Searching for a way to slow nuclear proliferation in Asia.

9. Working with the rest of the world to address Global Warming.

8. Deploying a first rate Secretary of State.

7. Trying to restart the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

6. Starting the stand down in Iraq.

5. Clamping down, to a degree, on the unconstitutional wire-tapping of the American public of the Bush administration.

4. Shutting down the CIA’s international rendition-torture-prison program.

3. Attempting to close Guantanamo Bay which is stain upon the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

2. Upholding the sanctions against torture in our various codes of conduct.

1. Showing unbelievable forbearance and tolerance and adherence to the American principles of freedom of speech and assembly in not lashing out at the American right wing and smashing them into dust with all the powers an American president can bring to bear against treason in a time of war!

Bravo, Mr. President!

Posted by dr. arp | Report as abusive

The problem is not only the 2 ongoing wars but also the up-coming ones: Or how can a Nobel Peace Price Winner declare the war on Iran when all sanctions and diplomacy fail? – Well, there is still time until Dec, 10th

Posted by Gaston | Report as abusive

Obama deserves a place on Mt. Rushmore. Past presidents have encouraged nuclear reductions, but none have inspired more than our dear leader O’Barely Obama.
This is a great day for “world piece.” Americans of all colors should be encouraged by these superior ultra white euro-liberal elitists and their goal for advancement of their definition of what piece of peace we unenlightened ones have left on our plates. We stand ready whenever Norway/Sweeden or Denmark gets threatened by unfriendly elements. Thank you for the award and tax obligations due the IRS. Just send us more body bags for our guys and gals walking the line and keeping your jets fueled so that you can take your “Five Star” Thailand vacations in peace.

Posted by rick go | Report as abusive

Obama won the prize for being elected the first black President. He was sworn into office in late January. Nobel nominations ended in early February. Therefore, everything he has done in office happened after nominations ended.

I hope he can live up to the honor of the award in the same way I hope he lives up to the honor of being elected President.

Posted by John C | Report as abusive

This current decision by the Nobel selection committee indicates two things:

Their standards have been significantly lowered and

they obviously had a hard time finding an appropriate candidate for the Peace Prize.

Clearly Obama has done nothing in the world to deserve such a price, but neither have any of the other so-called world leaders. I can name a dozen people who would have deserved this honor but because they are not considered world-leaders, they would not stand a chance in what appears to be a political decision, not based on merit or actions.

Posted by Robert Hutwohl | Report as abusive

What are you doing to help with the state of our economy? Just like I thought noting but complaining this country has been directed by the white man and badly I might add. So let\’s start at the beginning and work your way down…now what??? Again, nothing…

It is sad, there is and will be no change in US actions and policy, only words and faces have changed. And this is enough to win the “Nobel Peace Prize”!

Posted by John | Report as abusive

He won because he’s a celebrity. Nobel Peace Prize is now officially a gimmick. Next year it’ll go to Twitter.

Had Obama actually accomplished one of his wishful promises he made to this country, then yeah sure give it to him, but HE HASN’T!! And most likely, he won’t. What you actually believed all that CHANGE sales pitch?

Posted by Jordan | Report as abusive

I feel sorry for what the Nobel prize represents now. Actually I don’t think I know what it represents – sure it is not of any reasonable meaning for me. Obama did not do much to deserve any prize whatsoever, let alone a peace prize, let alone The peace prize. It was an idiotic statement and helped derogate the entire Nobel prize idea.

Posted by Fabio Brun | Report as abusive

I’m sitting here trying very hard to figure out what he was given the away for and failing miserably. Was it because he not George W. Bush?

Last real peace prize went to Mother Theresa in 1979 and heaven knows he’s no Mother Theresa.

Am I going to wake up tomorrow and they’ll be saying it was a bad joke. Remember the woman who was second to Al Gore? Sort of like that. A prize for a slide show and Obama doesn’t know how to make a slide show, just read from a teleprompter.

Posted by Oren H. | Report as abusive

Sure the worlds left want to reward Obama for all his efforts to sell out American. They are gunning for a One World Government and the G20 meeting just days ago was to this end. They believe that the only way to get the USA to agree to a one world currency is make us believe we are broke and have no choice. The cost of healthcare reform may just do that; the last straw that breaks the bank. To believe that a One World Government is going to bring peace to the whole world and solve all the conflicts is just reaching for the stars. But this is what they believe Obama is achiving! This is why they believe he has earned this nobel prize! Yea the left may have peace in their hearts hoping their goal is within reach. But we all know when one government controls one money system they control the lot of us. They want us to exchange our freedom for their promose of finacial rescue. No one in their right mind would think American will just allow a take over like that. No you have to disarm us first and you watch and see this will be the next bill. Yea they will see the power when we vote in 2010 & 2012. Nope we are not going to roll over and give up. We know better!

Posted by Charles | Report as abusive

as others have said, this does nothing for the credibility of the award. to be nominated after less than 2 weeks in office and

1) currently running two wars while talking of sending 1000′s more troops…..
2) in charge of the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons on the planet, talking about stopping the rest of the worlds nuclear ambitions but little / none of decreasing his own….
3)lack of any results in shutting down GITMO

this has to be a joke ????

he may have been a candidate in the future, after actually accomplishing something…….

this is all just part of the media hype based around this president and an embarrassment, the worlds should be disgusted.

It is total proof that the Nobel committee is nothing more than a cabal of euro-trash elitists. This apostate fraud obama runs around the planet bad mouthing his own country and gets a trophy from his fellow anti-American leftists.

Perhaps it was figured that this award would help prop up his failing presidency. Instead, in company with other miscreants such as terrorist Yassir Arafat, the Nobel prize is an big a joke as barrack obama.

Posted by Zerga | Report as abusive

Only if we live in a “1984″ kind of world!

The man is running two wars of aggresion and two military (naked force) occupations.

How does that earn him the Nobel Peace Prize?

The Nobel Peace Prize has become the most cynical joke ever.

Posted by Jose R. Pardinas | Report as abusive

The legitimacy of the Nobel Peace Prize is a joke. Yasser Arafat; a man of peace? There is no way Nobel is legitimate. They understand Chicago politics, and they want something in return from our president.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Based on the explanation – where was FW De Klerk’s Noble Prize? He began dismantling apartheid, he otally destroyed South Africa’s nuclear arsenal and their entire capability to produce enriched weapons grade nuclear materials essentially eviscerating the programme. South Africa is the only country to ever have nuclear weapons and destroy them and the capability to produce them. Based on ACTUAL accomplishments and not rhetoric where is his?
Obama doesn’t deserve an award based on potential merit.

Posted by gwydir | Report as abusive

Since Jimma Carter won and now President B O won it, I call the award “The Dumbell Apease Prize”

Posted by Frogman | Report as abusive