First White House Reaction on Nobel

Oct 9, 2009 7:04am

Two key White House aides were both convinced they were being punked when word came in on their blackberries.

"It's not April 1st, is it?" said one.

President Obama was as surprised as his staff.  Robert Gibbs called him with the news a little before 6, and aides say he was “humbled” by the honor.

While surprised, White House aides also argue that prize will strengthen President's hand both at home and abroad.

Especially on the issue of non-proliferation.  "This will deepen the isolation of both Iran and North Korea," says one.  "You can't in Iran today and not think the world is moving away from nuclear weapons when you're thinking of moving towards them."

Another argues that it will reinforce Obama's efforts to push Israel and the Palestinians to the next stage of the peace negotiations. The Prize "adds moral authority" to the President's efforts, and it strengthens his hand with Congress and the country.

"Americans want to be loved," he said.

Here's my two-way with Diane on GMA:

- George Stephanopoulos

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