OBAMA TO ACCEPT NOBEL PRIZE…. There was some talk in assorted circles this morning that President Obama might want to turn down his Nobel Peace Prize. Speaking briefly at the White House this morning, the president expressed humility, but nevertheless said he will accept the award.

Obama described himself as “surprised and deeply humbled” by the honor, adding that he does not consider the award a recognition of his accomplishments. “To be honest,” he added, “I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize.”

Obama went on to say, “I will accept this award as a call to action — a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.”

The president went on to emphasize his vision on counter-proliferation, addressing global warming, promoting international mutual respect on diversity issues, peace in the Middle East, and opportunities in developing nations.

Obama noted that the challenges “will not be met by one person or one nation alone…. This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration, it’s about the courageous efforts of people around the world.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.