Texas Liberal

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American Politicians Who Have Won Nobel Peace Prize—Maybe Award For Mr. Obama Will Make World A Better Place


President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

While it is easy enough to ask what Mr. Obama has done to merit the prize, maybe it will serve as a spur for the President to pursue a more peaceful course in world affairs than he otherwise would have. 

Our right-wingers here in America will complain about the prize, but Mr. Obama could cure cancer and they would still complain.

Given the power of the President of the United States in the world, why not roll the dice and see if the Nobel Prize can be used to make the world a somewhat less barbarous place? Mr. Obama certainly seems more open to a peaceful world than did George W. Bush.

Mr. Obama is not the first U.S. President or the first American politician to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the first sitting President to win the award since 1919.

Here is a list of American politicians who have won the Nobel Peace Prize—    

In 1906, President Teddy Roosevelt won the Nobel for his role in ending the war between Japan and Russia.

One-term Republican New York Senator Elihu Root won the prize in 1912. As Secretary of State under Teddy Roosevelt, and as Senator, Root help negotiate and arbitrate a number of international disputes.  

Woodrow Wilson  won the Peace Prize in 1919 for his part in creating the League of Nations.   

It was bit more rocky , though with some successes, for the League after the Nobel. As for President Wilson, the fight over the League led to his suffering a stroke and to a bitter end to his Presidency.  

Vice President Charles Dawes was a 1925 co-winner.  Mr. Dawes had done work to ease tensions between Germany and France after WW I. While that clearly did not work out over the longer haul, it made an impression at the time. Mr. Dawes was Vice President under Calvin Coolidge.  

Another one-term Republican Senator, Frank Kellogg of Minnesota, was the 1929 Peace Prize winner. (The photo above is of Mr. Kellogg.)

As Secretary of State under Calvin Coolidge, Kellogg was a force behind the Kellogg-Briand pact. Kellogg-Briand was signed by 64 countries and was about the renunciation of war as an instrument of policy by these nations. It did not have much effect at the time, but why not try?  

1931 co-winner Nicholas Butler, was Teddy Roosevelt’s running mate on the 1912 Bull Moose ticket. Butler won the prize for his international work on behalf of Kellogg-Briand.

Former Tennessee Senator Cordell Hull was the 1945 winner.  Secretary of State under F.D.R, Hull played a major role in creating the United Nations.

Former President Jimmy Carter was the  2002 winner. President Carter has dedicated much of his efforts since leaving the White House in 1981 to conflict resolution, election monitoring and disease eradication 

Al Gore won the prize in 2007 for his work to combat the effects of climate change.

( Below—Al Gore.)

October 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. If Obama, who is claiming to represent the people of the US deserves an award for doing nothing then the rest of the country deserves awards as well. I didn’t vote for this guy in 2008 and never will in the future, he is nothing but a Chicago hood. As much as I disliked Bush & Cheney, I wish they were back.

    Comment by Edd | October 9, 2009

  2. Maybe the folks who voted for Mr. Obama should get an award. They should get an award for enduring 8 years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Maybe they should get an award for still hoping that our policies towards the rest of the world could be decent even after 8 years of seeing little of hope or decency.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 9, 2009

  3. no awards deserved here for anyone

    Comment by bill brady | October 9, 2009

  4. I am more on the conservative side, and I agree that I hope the award serves to motivate Obama to work harder for peace in the world, but I also don’t think he deserves the award (yet anyways, it remains to be seen). If this was the motivation behind the Nobel Committee, then they are using the award more as a bribe or political influence than an award, much like lobyists.

    To me the award lost all meaning when Gore won it for his global warming video in which he spends a good chunk of the video flying around in private jets and riding to global warming conferences in a limo.

    Comment by Matt | October 9, 2009

  5. yes matt you are on the conservative side. if you think that the attention that al gore has brought to the world is off base than you are in denial. because he flew in a jet to these places does not mean he is not trying to awaken the awareness of people all over the world to slow down or there will be a great price to play. we can talk about the big house he lives in and how much energy it uses but at the end of the day he actually deserved his award and his work has made people more aware and they still dont seem to care. you cant drive a hummer and recycle your beer bottles and say you are doing what you can for the enviroment, we all as consumers have so much more to do to stop and reverse this process

    Comment by bill brady | October 9, 2009

  6. What people need to realize is that Obama was nominated only after two weeks of being POTUS. The Nobel deadline was two weeks after he was inaugurated. Somehow in his first two weeks he supposedly did so much to change the world? This is impossible for anyone.

    The fact is he got because of politics. The ones listed here are/were liberals. The old Republican party of these guys was still a liberal party back then. Reagan did more and wasn’t nominated. Nixon began talks with China and wasn’t nominated (with his other trangressions that might be a good call).

    The Nobel Committee only awarded it to Mr. Obama because of his political leanings. Obama has the same war strategy of George W. Bush. His foreign policies haven’t changed since George W. Bush was first in office. Somehow, after changing nothing, Obama’s first two weeks were somehow Earth-shattering.

    Don’t be fooled, folks. This isn’t about the real prize. People are not awarded this for motivation. It’s for accomplishments.

    (I’m a centrist literally on every issue. I am an unaffiliated voter in the USA because I do not vote according to party lines. So don’t pass this off as conservative party lines.)

    Comment by Ray | October 10, 2009

  7. As for issues, your President has been in office for nearly nine months…repeat, 9 months…not eight years. Whether you agree or not with the award of a prize that the President didn’t ask for (should he have refused it? With what possible result?) you should if you believe in a democracy and not a perpetual President (in which case say goodbye to the Constitution) then back him for a respectable amount of time- say, until the next election. You all vote I assume. Politics is for adults, but rarely is that borne in mind.It isn’t easy for any of us, but even if we don’t like the captain of the ship, it’s fair play to see how he works out, instead of living in a Disneyland of assumed and largely unreliable sources.
    Personally, I see the President as a person who has opened the possibilites of real dialogue between ertswhile enemy nations- even just that is quite an accomplishment for a President in 9 months.

    Comment by Ray | October 10, 2009

  8. the prize is leverage to make him keep all the empty promises. we will see when he puts 40k more troops in afganistan what the peace board has to say. they have cornered him and he will bite.

    Comment by bill brady | October 10, 2009

  9. Ray am doing what I can to support our president that I did vote for. I need to see him end the war like he said he would, i need to see him protect the people he promised to, i need to see him pull troops out of iraq and i am actually ok with sending them to afganistan if we take out the fake corrupt goverment we have placed there and let the afgan people elect a nut like they want to and then get our troops out of there as well. we are not the world police and we need to get our troops out of this turkey shoots asap. he needs to expose and fight the dems in office that will not get bills passed due to thier disgusting ties to the corporations. america had enough of this buddy system that leaves the avg citizen broke sick and alone if this congress and president do not start getting bills passed they will loose all the houses next year and we will be back to where we were. people voting out of fear and electing more garbage with more empty promises.

    Comment by bill brady | October 11, 2009

  10. i was just watching cnn where john mccain was talking about corruption in afganistan government hahahahaha what a joke our elected officials are.

    Comment by bill brady | October 11, 2009

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