October 9th, 2009
05:09 PM ET
5 years ago

State Dept. on Nobel: 'Better to be thrown accolades than shoes'

State Dept. on Nobel: 'Better to be thrown acolades than shoes'.
State Dept. on Nobel: 'Better to be thrown acolades than shoes'.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – "Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum - when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes."

That's the take of Hillary Clinton's State Department on President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, according to her spokesman, Assistant Secretary PJ Crowley.

Crowley was referring to the incident last December when an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during his final visit to Iraq of his presidency.

Muntader Zaidi, who worked for the Iraqi television station Al Baghdadiya, hurled both his shoes at Bush and called him a "dog" during a press conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He narrowly missed the president, who quickly ducked.


The shoe-throwing, considered one of the highest insults in the Middle East, illustrated the deep anger toward the United States over its invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Crowley's comments suggested a recognition by the Obama administration that the Nobel Prize was as much an indictment of the Bush administration as it was an effort to praise President Obama's outreach to improve the US image around the world.

Echoing comments by the White House, Crowley said the award was not just an "affirmation" of the Obama administration's foreign policy strategy of engagement, but also on its robust foreign policy agenda, which includes non-proliferation, dealing with Iran and North Korea, and pursuing peace in the Middle East.

"There is an opportunity here," Crowley said. "The tone has changed - but obviously we recognize that, while the tone in the world has changed, the challenges remain. They are very significant."

This "call to action," Crowley said, will fall primarily on the shoulders of Secretary Clinton and the State Department, who will look "to advance the president's agenda and confront the challenges of the 21st century."

soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Puddin'

    To those who are so shocked about Pres. Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; believe it, accept it and go on with your lives. The republicans continue to belly-ache and show their dirty behinds. Or they ever going to wise up.....Obama won't be in office forever.....just for eight years! :)

    October 9, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. TheTaliban_is_Republican

    The American Taliban a.k.a The Republican Party is frothing at the mouth because America scored big time.

    When Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – America scored, and the American Taliban a.k.a The Republican Party booed their President and their country.

    When world opinion about America rose from an abyssmal 10% or less to over 80% – America scored... and the American Taliban a.k.a the Republican Party booed him and their country.

    When America lost the bid on the Olympic and lost potentially 300,000 jobs, the American Taliban Party a.k.a the Republican Party CHEERED!

    When President Obama, showing true compassion and godliness, sought to provive healthcare to ALL Americans, the American Taliban cursed him and called him Hitler and all sorts of nasty names...

    The Republican Party is Godless and they hate this country. The Taliban has its counterpart in the Republican Party. They both hate America and will do anything to destroy it so long as they promote their own selfish ideologies.

    October 9, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. sparks

    The criteria for distributing the peace prize is questionable to say the least. I'm sure however that obama will be as proud as his undeserved award just as hitler was when he won his in 1935.

    October 9, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  4. sheslovin

    What do the RNC stand for? All I see is what they stand against. Why don't they do whats right for the people for once. You're like dinosaurs waiting to go extincted.

    October 9, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  5. Wanderer

    If one who could think the BAD should be stopped, he has done a good thing. No need to wait for the GOOD to come. Even God could not accomplish anything the way people on this earth wanted. If the GOP stops hating the President, they will clearly see that the president deserved the prize. The DEMS didn’t give the POTUS the prize, so the GOP should not look for the answers from the DEMS. I don’t care who the POTUS is, if the POTUS is awarded the Nobel Prize, I am proud of being a Citizen of the U.S. I don’t understand why some people cannot do it.

    October 9, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. charlie in Maine

    LONDON (CNN) - Did President Obama land a Nobel peace prize at such an early stage of his presidency simply because he's not George W. Bush?

    Yes he did. You idiots. That is the point. Barack Obam was chosen because was the best not George W Bush availble. Why should he not get credit for it? He does a much better job of not being George W Bush than McCain would have done. Although I must say that McCain would have done a much better job of not being George Bush than Romeny of Guliani would have done.

    All you knuckle dragging right wing non- patriotic (that's right I went there your President has won a Nobel Peace Price and you are not proud???), morons out there are asking "What did Obama do to deserve it?" you should be asking how did we get a President in George W Bush so horrible that, after only 8 months in office the new guy get a Nobel Peace prize for not being him? I hired Barack Obama scecifically to not be George W Bush. So far he has done a great job. I hope he keeps up the good work.

    October 9, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. gee

    What a joke. Do nothing and get an award. I guess this has trickled up from school policies where every dumb kid should pass and every loser gets a trophy. I guess the top loser got his today.

    October 9, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. brian in seattle

    I would like to congratulate the President for receiving the award, and for what he has chosen to do with the reward money. He has shown nothing but humility in accepting this award (which he did not even ask for).

    To all the people that are trashing Obama because of this and saying that he didn't deserve this, here's a thought, before you say something stupid, actually READ the statement that Nobel Prize Committee gave for giving him the award before criticizing him about it (I know this is asking a lot from most of you as you rely on Limaugh, Hannity, Coulter, or Beck telling you what to think, but you might actually learn something).

    Here is the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s statement on awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 to President Barack Obama:

    "The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons..... Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts....""

    In other words, he does not immediately jump to the conclusion that force is the best response, he tries to use peaceful means, kinda like the name of the award. (By the way he inherited the Iraq and Afghanistan mess, so you can't really lay those problems at his feet)

    October 9, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. ja

    the republicans can just eat their hearts out, the man is about inclusiveness, he should get the Nobel for his health care reform, why should the insurance companies get richer, congress may strip themselves of all the perks, it is not patriotic

    October 9, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. JT

    Congrats Mr. President. Regardless on how you won it. There are people out there feel that you are making the best effort for peace. Be humble as you are, but don't be ashame of accepting this prestiges award.

    October 9, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. Ron

    Ya know, maybe the south had it right. Better to secede than continue in this charade of a government. Kennedy and Reagan must be spinning in their graves. Those without jobs, without goals, without ambition and without moral compass, certainly have the wherewithall to help with our continue decline as a society.

    My only bright point is that there will be a revolution in direction in the 2010 election. Hopefully, independents will come to power and repudiate the excesses of this and prior administrations. It's not party, it's greed and power.

    A new change, is evidently not a better change!!!!

    October 9, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    President Obama would have caught hell if he did not try to get the Olympics here and he caught hell for trying. He is catching hell for an award being given him by others without his or our input. He is simply the receiver of the award. Others nominated him and others voted to select him as the winner. Our population had nothing to do with it. Grow up people and face the music. If President Obama had a BLT for lunch today most of you would be trying to ban bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and bread tomorrow claiming that he is pressing the consumption of them to make money to take over something else. This is not the country I was born and raised in. I was born and raised in a country where we are proud of the accomplishments of our citizens as they perform in and around the world while representing our country. Either we get it together and start working as one or we will find our nation becoming a lawless third world nation. I pray that my time ends before it comes to pass for I cannot live to see my country fail because of the stupidity and ignorance of others.

    October 9, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Tony in Maine

    The President has restored the United States to a place of honor among the nations of the world. Our country became a pariah under Bush. That has changed and for that alone President Obama is deserving.

    October 9, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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