Nobel Chief: Why We Picked Obama
'It's better to speak than to shoot'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2009 8:00 AM CDT
Thorbjorn Jagland, with a photo of President Obama.   (AP Photo/Torbjorn Gronning)

(Newser) – Republican assertions to the contrary, the head of the Nobel Peace Prize panel that picked Barack Obama says the choice isn't meant to be a repudiation of George W. Bush. "This prize is not against anybody," Thorbjorn Jagland tells Deborah Solomon. He added, however, that he agreed it's "better to speak than to shoot."

In his Q&A session for the New York Times Sunday magazine, Jagland says Obama "has reduced tensions in the world to a large extent—namely, the divide between the Muslim world and the Western world, which is very dangerous. What he did was to go to Cairo and reach out to the Muslims. There must be a starting point, and this was a very important starting point." We also learn that Jagland drives a Volvo.