Nobel peacenik prize winner: Barack Obama
Among critics of Barack Obama, comparisons with Jimmy Carter became ever more frequent as his presidency progressed. After all, both presided over stagnant economies, created large new federal departments, bailed out auto companies, sought to reform healthcare, and put pressure on Israel.
Both presidents also exhibited similar accomplishments and interests: one, a peanut farmer and one-term governor who emerged from obscurity to beat the incumbent (but unelected) Republican president, Gerald Ford; the other, a community organiser and one-term senator who also came from nowhere to overcome Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party establishment in a bruising primary and go on to win the contest to succeed President George W. Bush.
Obama and Carter are both zealous advocates of nuclear arms reduction. The Carter administration was convinced that the Soviet Union had "similar dreams and aspirations" to the US. Carter and his Soviet counterpart Leonid Brezhnev pledged to limit nuclear forces under the Salt II agreement. The less optimistic Senate refused to ratify the agreement, however. A few months later, the peace-pursuing Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
Barack Obama, too, has long been concerned with nuclear stockpiles. In his senior year at Columbia University he wrote a paper on the issue. As president, he pledged to advance the cause of eradicating nuclear weapons, convened a conference in 2010 to advance the matter, and consistently referred to this hope in his speeches. The dissonance between his determination to rid the world of existing nuclear weapons and his unwillingness to take stronger measures to prevent Iran from developing new ones is quite remarkable.
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