Thanks Mom: Obama Credits his Mother for Nobel Peace Prize Win

By Britt

Dec 10, 2009 4:59pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: OSLO, NORWAY — During a toast of red wine President Obama credited his mother for his Nobel Peace prize win, saying the extent to which he deserves the prize is because of her. "It was in one of the earlier toasts discussed, the passage in my book that talks about my mother and the values that she instilled in me. And I do think it's worth noting, that to the extent I am deserving of this esteemed prize – either now or in the future – it will be largely because of her. And the largeness of her heart," Obama said at the Nobel dinner banquet this evening. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, an economic anthropologist who created micro-financing projects that extended small loans to the rural poor all over the world, died in 1995. The President has yet to make a final decision on what charities he will donate his $1.4 million prize, yet the White House has indicated that one of the charities actively under consideration would be to create micro-financing projects much like his mother. Mr. Obama signaled out his half sister Maya Soetoro-Ng who was also a guest at the dinner, and shares the same mother. The President said that he hopes his comments about their mother, didn't "want to make her cry" when he spoke about the values that their mother instilled in him. Touching on the "extraordinary power" that the Nobel Prize has, Mr. Obama once again referenced Nobel Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King -  whose own win created a movement, which he said, is responsible for his own and his wife's success. "In 1964 when Dr. King received this prize the course of the civil rights movement was still uncertain. How that would play itself out was not yet entirely known. And for a Baptist preacher from the South to be lifted up on the international stage, to highlight the fact that this was not simply a parochial struggle but was rather a struggle for the ages, a struggle for the hearts and minds not just for the American people but for the world and how we thought about each other and how we thought about minorities in countries everywhere. What extraordinary power that had and as a consequence I think it is fair to say that it helped to put the wind behind the sails of a movement that is largely responsible for both Michelle and my presence here tonight." Paying homage to the late Alfred Nobel, Mr. Obama noted that one of the "great ironies" is that the man responsible for investing dynamite also helped to establish this "extraordinary moral force in the world" when he bequeathed the largest share of his fortune to establish the Nobel peace Prize upon his death in 1895. "It's not entirely clear that he could have foreseen the impact that his prizes would have," Obama said of Mr. Nobel, "But he did know this truth – that our destinies are what we make of them. And that each of us in our own lives can do our part in order to make a more just and lasting peace – towards the kind of world that we want to bequeath to our children and our grandchildren." And with that Mr. Obama raised a glass of red wine, "to Albert Nobel -Skol!"
-Sunlen Miller

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