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Who did Obama beat out for the Nobel?

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
With President Obama heading to Norway today to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize -- and his countrymen saying they don't think he deserved it -- it's worth taking a look at who some of the other nominees were.

By the way, it's not like there weren't other nominees. There, in fact, were a record number of nominees for this year's prize -- 205; 2005 saw the second most at 199.

By the way, a weird quirk from the Nobel Committee, is they hold the official nominee list for 50 years. So we won't be able to see the official list of who was nominated in addition to Obama until 2059. But there's been lots of speculation on who else was nominated. Here's what we've culled together from various links

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Former French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt
  • Chinese dissident Hu Jia, a front-runner in 2008
  • The Cluster Munitions Coalition "after it played a central role in getting nearly 100 countries to sign a treaty last year in Oslo banning cluster bombs."
  • Zivko Popovski-Cvetin, a Macedonian humanitarian and artist
  • Austrian children's charity SOS-Kinderdorf International
  • American Greg Mortenson, "nominated by six members of the U.S. Congress for his Asian school building charity
    Vietnamese religious leader Thich Quang Do, put forward when a campaign recruited lawmakers to nominate him."
  • American musician Pete Seeger
  • Colombia Senator Piedad Cordoba, thought to be the favorite before Obama was announced as the winner, heads Colombians For Peace and risked her life trying to end the conflict between Farc and the government.
  • Sima Samar, an Afghani doctor, human rights activist and chairwoman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, who has spoken out against sharia law and was forced to resign from the Karzai administration after speaking out for women's rights.
  • Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai
  • Zivko Popovski-Cvetin
  • Thich Quang Do, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and leading human rights advocate in that country. He has also been nominated previously.
  • Denis Mukwege, a Congo doctor who helps rape victims.
  • Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, a "philosophy professor in Islamic faith at Jordan University. ... In 2005, he brought prominent Islamic scholars together to work out a 'theological counter-attack' against terrorism, and he is regularly praised for his ability to emphasis similarities between East and West."
  • Wei Jingsheng, thought of as the father of Chinese democracy, was jailed for 18 years for protesting Mao's China after leaving his position as a member of the Red Guard. He's been nominated seven other times.
  • Congolese rights advocate Justine Masika Bihamba
  • Mordechai Vanunu, an 80s-era Israeli nuclear whistle-blower. He "asked to be removed from a list of nominees for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize" ... "My main reason for this is that I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Simon Peres." Vanunu says Peres is responsible for his kidnapping and jailing in Israel for treason.