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U.S. President Barack Obama failed in his bid to win the Olympics for Chicago when he traveled to Denmark last week. But Scandinavia gave him an unexpected consolation prize Friday - the Nobel Peace Prize.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/10/09/nobel.peace.prize/art.obamablackcaucus.gi.jpg
caption="Barack Obama is only the third U.S. president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."]
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the illustrious award for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to win the award since Woodrow Wilson in 1919 and only the third occupant of the White House to be recognized with the award. But Obama has only held the presidency since January this year - just eight months. Already the award has drawn both praise and criticism from around the world.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded 89 times to 119 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2008 – 96 times to individuals and 23 times to organizations.
In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite, indicated that the prize for peace should be dedicated to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
What do you think? Are Obama's attempts to change U.S. political direction and renew diplomatic engagement enough to merit award of the prize?
What is "extraordinary" about Obama's efforts for peace since the start of the year?
Or is awarding a prize to a leader who has yet to reach the end of his first year simply too premature?
Let us know what you think and we will use some of your comments in the show.