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Lawmakers React to Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

October 9, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Sen. John McCain [R, AZ]:

“I can’t divine all [of the Nobel Committee’s] intentions, but I think part of their decision-making was expectations and I’m sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to. As Americans, we’re proud when our President receives an award of that prestigious category. […] I think all of us were surprised at the decision, but I think Americans are always pleased when their president is recognized by something on this order. [link].

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV]:

“By ushering in a period of optimism in American politics, President Obama has become a great source of pride and inspiration for many Americans.  I congratulate the President on this tremendous honor that he has earned with his dedication to a new type of politics based on hope instead of fear.  I am confident that the President will work to continue to live up the ideals of this award throughout his term in office. [link]

Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8]:

“President Obama is working to restore American leadership worldwide and build bonds of friendship across the globe. The Nobel Peace Prize is a testament to his leadership and vision and a tribute to American values. I offer my congratulations to President Obama on this outstanding achievement.

Diplomacy and cooperation are the cornerstones of a strong, effective foreign policy. President Obama has worked tirelessly to put these principles into practice. In an age when the actions of one nation can affect the future of all nations, the President has recognized the need for global solutions to our most pressing challenges. And he is rallying the world around the common causes of building a world free of nuclear weapons, combating climate change, defeating the forces of terror, securing human rights, and pursuing peace among all nations. [link]

House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28]:

“I’m delighted at this recognition of President Obama’s work to strengthen international cooperation. It validates the president’s approach to tough trans-national challenges such as global warming and the spread of nuclear arms. And it celebrates his steady efforts to improve America’s standing around the world. [link]

Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]:

I can’t second guess the Nobel, but I will say this: we never expect a conservative Republican to be chosen. For instance, when Ronald Reagan helped to bring about the end of the Cold War and he was ignored by the Nobel Committee. I mean, to me, we’re just used to having the Nobel people picking Democrats or liberals to honor in this way. But it is an honor and there’s no use kidding about it, and especially to have our President win. I think for Barack Obama, this will be an incentive for him, as he indicated, to do an even greater job around the world, and hopefully he’ll be able to do that with our help. [link]

Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]:

“This just reemphasizes how this president has moved the United States from a foreign policy of strong national defense to one based on multinational cooperation,” says Inhofe. “That is the kind of change that the Nobel committee believes in.”

“I fear that this could change the president’s view towards Afghanistan,” adds Inhofe. “General McChrystal has a strategy to win. We need 40,000 more troops. If getting the Nobel Peace Prize somehow influences our policy Afghan policy, I’ll be disappointed.” [link]

More reactions form Members of Congress will undoubtedly continue to roll in all day. I’ll be updating this post as they do.

Rep. J. Gresham Barrett [R, SC-3]:

Congratulations to President Obama on his prize. I’m not sure what the international community loved best; his waffling on Afghanistan, pulling defense missiles out of Eastern Europe, turning his back on freedom fighters in Honduras, coddling Castro, siding with Palestinians against Israel, or almost getting tough on Iran. The world may love it, but following in the footsteps of Jimmy Carter is not where America needs to go. Hopefully, this surprise award will give the President cause to reevaluate his current course. [link]

Sen. John Kerry [D, MA]

I congratulate President Obama on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is an honor of the highest magnitude and all Americans should be proud of this recognition. Since his inauguration, President Obama has taken great strides to elevate America’s standing in the world. Under President Obama, America has returned to its true spirit and core values – global engagement, alliance-building, and respect for international human rights and treaties. The Nobel Committee and the world have taken note of America’s renewed commitment to responsible leadership. [link]

Sen. Claire McCaskill [D, MO]

I feel that I’m in an alternative universe. For eight years some people called anyone who disagreed with the President’s foreign policy or war in Iraq unpatriotic. Then in the course of two weeks, those same people cheer when the United States does not get selected for the Olympics and boo when our President is the unanimous choice for the Nobel Peace Prize. Go figure.

Congratulations Mr. President for standing up to the scorn and derision of your opponents in the election when you firmly stood for the proposition that strength meant being willing to talk to your enemies, not just your allies. Thank you for the confidence and wisdom to say that a hand will be extended when their fist is unclenched. And thank you for understanding that our national security rests on our principles, the example we set for the world, and our alliances along with the excellence and strength of our military, rather than exclusively the latter. God Bless America. [link]

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