Remarks by President Barack Obama at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (2009)
U.S. President Barack Obama’s selection as recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize produced no small measure of discord. Less than a year into his presidency, Obama was to receive the world’s most prestigious humanitarian award—the same tribute bestowed upon Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. after decades of nonviolent protest—while administering two major wars, both waning in popularity. Additionally, the Nobel committee explained its decision largely in abstract terms, asserting “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.” Even among some of the President’s supporters, the accolade seemed patronizing or misguided. To his critics, it was merely another example of the President’s undeserved sanctification. On both sides people called for President Obama to decline the honor.
President Obama accepted the prize though not without recognizing the criticism leveled at him A ...