Ex-Nobel Director: Obama Shouldn't Have Received Peace Prize

The former head of the Nobel Institute said in his memoir that President Obama really shouldn't have received the Peace Prize in 2009.

Barely into his first term, Obama received the prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

By comparison, the year after Obama's award the Nobel went to political prisoner Liu Xiaobo "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

From Norwegian news site The Local:

Geir Lundestad, who served as Director of the Nobel Institute for 25 years, wrote in a newly released memoir that although the five-strong Norwegian Nobel Committee had all agreed to give Obama the award, his record in office since receiving the prize had shown it to be a mistake.

According to Lundestad, the argument which swayed the committee was that the prize would help him achieve his goals.

"In hindsight, we could say that the argument of giving Obama a helping hand was only partially correct," he wrote, according to VG newspaper.

...Lundestad was not the only person to have misgivings about the Obama award, the American president himself said he was "surprised".

"Even many of Obama's supporters thought that the prize was a mistake. In that way, the committee did not achieve what it had hoped," Lundestad writes.

He claims that Obama's advisors even discreetly asked if it would be possible for the US President to avoid the award.

“His cabinet had already asked whether anyone had previously refused to travel to Oslo to receive the prize,” Lundestad said. “In broad strokes, the answer was no.”

Some are lobbying for Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to receive the next prize.