Russians praise, GOP mocks Obama's prize
Sunday, October 11, 2009
WASHINGTON -- While Russia's president congratulated President Barack Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Republicans see the award as so outrageous that they're using it to raise campaign money.
Obama won the prize "for awesomeness," says the mocking GOP fundraising letter. Obama's honor shows "how meaningless a once honorable and respected award has become," says the letter, signed by Michael S. Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had a different view. He said the award, announced Friday, will encourage further U.S.-Russian cooperation.
"I hope this decision would serve as an additional incentive for our common work to form a new climate in world politics and promote initiatives which are fundamentally important for global security," Medvedev said in a letter to Obama.
Steele said Obama hasn't accomplished enough to deserve the prize. Numerous Democrats and independents have expressed similar views, although generally in less bombastic terms.
Steele wrote that "the Democrats and their international leftist allies want America made subservient to the agenda of global redistribution and control. And truly patriotic Americans like you and our Republican Party are the only thing standing in their way."
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro called the Nobel award a "positive step," although he said it was more a repudiation of former president George W. Bush than a recognition of anything concrete Obama has done.
South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, cited a Zulu term -- "Ubuntu," which refers to the importance of community -- in saying Obama's "leadership reflects the true spirit of Ubuntu because your approach celebrates our common humanity."