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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did the early morning duty today to let President Obama he'd won the Nobel Peace Prize.

A senior administration official tells TPMDC Gibbs called the White House just before 6 a.m. and woke Obama to share the news.

"The president was humbled to be selected by the committee," the official says.

There will be more coming out of the White House reacting to the news today.

Worth noting, Gibbs also had pre-dawn wake-up call duties during Obama's first trip abroad, telling Obama that North Korea had fired a test missile.

President Barack Obama, in his tenth month in office, was chosen this morning as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The one-liner from the committee - it goes to Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."


"For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.'

Late update: Obama will make brief remarks at 10:30 a.m. ET in the White House Rose Garden.

Later update: Here's the full release from Oslo, text after the jump.

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Ben Ali, founder of U Street institution Ben's Chili Bowl, died today. He was 82. His landmark eatery served presidents, celebrities and many ordinary people. Photos of Denzel Washington, Danny Glover and Bill Cosby, among others, line the walls. Famously, two people are allowed to eat free there: Bill Cosby and President Barack Obama.

Newscom/Zuma Wire

Ben Ali accepts congratulations on the occasion of the Chili Bowl's 45th anniversary on August 22, 2003.

Newscom/Zuma Wire

Ben's Chili Bowl was packed full on its 45th anniversary. Besides the throngs of regular Washingtonians, Bill Cosby, Jessie Jackson and then-Mayor Anthony Williams attended.

Nescom/Zuma Wire

Then-President George W. Bush lends an artistic touch to a mural.

CC: Wikimedia

Mayor Adrian Fenty drops by Ben's Chili Bowl on August 24, 2007 for an event honoring WPGC radio host Donnie Simpson.

Newscom/Wenn Photos

Mayor Adrian Fenty chows down as he samples the offerings of a Ben's Chili Bowl in the new Nationals Park.

Newscom/Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI Photos

"Killing Me Softly With His Song" singer Roberta Flack entertained the crowds as Ben's Chili Bowl made it to 50 on August 22, 2008.

Newscom/Carrie Devorah/Wenn Photos

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Bill Cosby also celebrated the big 5-0. No word on whether Cosby took advantage of his free meal.

Newscom/Carrie Devorah/Wenn Photos

Then-President-elect Barack Obama ordered a chili half-smoke with shredded cheese on the side on January 10, 2009. Despite his free-eating privileges, Obama left $20 on a $12 meal.

Newscom/Joshua Roberts/UPI Photos

Then-President-elect Obama takes a big bite.

Newscom/Joshua Roberts/UPI Photo

Then-President-elect Obama and Mayor Fenty take time to pose with Washington police officers.

Newscom/Joshua Roberts/CNP Photos

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) said on MSNBC today that he's still "agnostic" on a possible compromise for states to opt out of a public option, but noted that no one presented such an idea during any of the committee hearings.

"My initial reaction was, states have the authority right now, if they want to establish a so-called public option within their state, there's no prohibition against that in federal law. There's nothing to keep them from doing it," he said. "I guess the idea of having a state opt into a national option might be the federal government would provide assistance to states that want to do it."

"But I'm not sure that that's what's being thought about. So I'm sort of agnostic until I learn more about the proposal," he said.

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The story of the day on the health care beat belongs to Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Carper (D-DE). Their new proposal to devise a national public option in such a way that states could choose not to participate quickly overtook yesterday's news from the CBO that the Senate Finance Committee bill would save billions of dollars. But is it the long-sought solution to the public option conundrum?

The short answer is: it's way too early to tell.

"The amount of ink and media attention being spilled on this issue bears little relationship to where it is in the process," said one leadership aide.

Conversations with a number of Senate aides from across the Democratic spectrum all touched on the same theme: The idea may be decent on the merits, and appealing to some key conservative Democrats. But all 60? Or 59 plus Olympia Snowe? That's hard to answer when the concept hasn't even been fully fleshed out. And yet, it's almost certain that, as an amendment to the bill that ultimately reaches the Senate floor, it would need 60 one way or another.

Then there are House liberals, who remain extremely focused on a Medicare-like public option, available everywhere. They're not saying much about this idea just yet, but from initial conversations with House aides, it's unlikely that they're going to drop their campaign for a robust public option and get on the "opt-out" bandwagon. Whether they would ultimately settle for such a compromise if it came out of a conference committee is a question whose answer enters the realm of multiple levels of speculation. There's no denying that the initial reception by both liberal and conservative Democrats has been generally positive. But as the quote above indicates, we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

Late this afternoon, NRSC communications director Brian Walsh responded to Marco Rubio's claim today that national Republicans are shrill and lazy. The NRSC has publicly endorsed Rubio's opponent in the Florida senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist (R), and it's fair to say Rubio's take on the tone in D.C. was aimed squarely at many of the group's senior leadership.

Walsh writes,

"I'm going to decline to comment. If Marco think[s] it's useful to spend time attacking fellow Republicans that's his decision. We're focused on building on the momentum Republicans have been seeing in the polls the last few months as more Americans make clear they do not support the big spending, big government policies that are being pushed by President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi."

NRSC officials pointed to Crist's continuing lead in polls and money to show that Rubio's message was falling on deaf ears.

On Larry King Live Wednesday night, former House Majority Leader and erstwhile Dancing With The Stars contestant Tom DeLay remembered the good old days, when we had bipartisan dance parties and the simple destruction of opponents' good names.

"I'm suggesting we have a dance once a week in Washington where the Democrats and Republicans come together and party together," DeLay said. "We used to do that, by the way, in the [Texas] state legislature. ... It's hard to get mad at someone you dance with."

Larry King then asked DeLay what he thought about the viciousness of today's political atmosphere.

"It's getting really nasty," DeLay said. "The paradigm of politics used to be, just ruin someone's reputation and you could beat him. But now, there's the criminalization of politics. You want to bankrupt people, destroy their families, send them to jail."

"It's really sad," he said.

Democrats in Connecticut are up in arms today after it was revealed that Gov. Jodi Rell (R) has been using taxpayer money to fund a secret series of polls and focus groups aimed at testing the political viability of her programs a year before she's up for reelection.

The political operation was kept secret and was hidden inside a grant given to a University of Connecticut professor that was supposed to fund a study into ways to "streamline state government," according to the New London Day, which broke the story today after a month-long investigation.

Records from the project obtained by the paper show that Dr. Kenneth Dautrich, the professor awarded the $220,000 grant and a "confidant of Rell's chief of staff," used the state money to "pepper" Rell's office with advice "on everything from income taxes to leadership qualities to the public's opinion of a potential political rival."

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The American Spectator reports that the House GOP could be seeing a minor revolt among its members over the NY-23 special election, in which the local Republican Party nominated a candidate who is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

State Rep. Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate, is in a three-way race with Democratic attorney Bill Owens and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. The third-party candidate Hoffman has received the endorsements of the Club For Growth, Gary Bauer and former Sen. Fred Thompson. And it appears that some House GOPers would rather be helping him than the socially liberal Scozzafava:

[NRCC Chair Pete] Sessions was called out by conservative members of the caucus, and challenged when asked why NRCC resources -- cash and personnel -- were being used for Scozzafava. "We have a conservative running in this race, and the Republican Party is not with him," says a conservative House member who attended the meeting. "There are a number of us who are profoundly embarrassed by this race, and while we don't blame Pete, we do blame the NRCC staff for apparently not doing its job."