When asked if the Nobel Peace Prize committee risked being accused of awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for political reasons and not for any achievement, a Nobel Peace Prize spokesperson replied that the committee has, on many occasions tried to enhance what a personality is trying to do. Using the award to Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as an example, the head of the committee explained that the committee has awarded the honor to enhance an attitude which in Gorbachev's case "changed the world".
The spokesperson went on to say that because Obama is contributing to the improvement of the international climate and is working to strengthen international bodies such as the United Nations, they felt it important to endorse and cultivate the principals for which he stands.
The Swedish industrialist and inventor, Alfred Nobel, who originated this honor did not explain why this category was selected. Other American presidents who have been awarded the prize include Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter.