Gotta say, this is a shocker.
President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” a stunning honor that came less than nine months after he made United States history by becoming the country’s first African-American president. The award, announced in Oslo by the Nobel Committee while much of official Washington — including the president — was still asleep, cited in particular the president’s efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. “He has created a new international climate,” the committee said. For Mr. Obama, one of the nation’s youngest presidents, the award is an extraordinary recognition that puts him in the company of world leaders such as Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who won for helping to bring an end to the cold war, and Nelson Mandela, who sought an end to apartheid. But it is also a potential political liability at home; already, Republicans are criticizing the president, contending he won more for his “star power” than his actual achievements.