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Donald Trump a Favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018

Don Aguero

by Don Aguero in News

Updated Apr 8, 2020 · 8:35 AM PDT

President Donald J. Trump welcomes President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to the White House
President Donald J. Trump welcomes President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to the White House. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead (flickr) CC License)
  • Can Trump go from “fire and fury” to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?
  • The President is currently among the favorites to receive the award, behind only Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-In
  • Is there value in picking Trump or the Korean leaders?

Donald Trump was met with chants of “Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!” at one of his Michigan rallies back in April, and back then it seemed ridiculous that a man who once threatened to nuke North Korea could be in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Yet here we are. Donald Trump is now one of the favorites to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, behind only the North Korean and South Korean leaders.

2018 Nobel Prize Odds

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Odds
Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-In -150
Donald Trump +300
Carlos Puigdemont +1400
United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees +1400
Angela Merkel +1400
Novaya Gazeta +1800
Pope Francis +2000
Raif Badawi +2000
ACLU +2000
Edward Snowden +2000
Vladimir Putin +3500

Does Donald Trump Stand a Chance?

Short answer: definitely.

Two of the six living US presidents are Nobel laureates, and neither did much to earn the award. Obama was given the Nobel Prize just nine months into his first term, long before he achieved anything meaningful. And the decision to award Jimmy Carter in 2002 was mostly a jab at W. Bush and his war in Iraq.

Selecting Donald Trump would be an extremely controversial decision, but it would hardly be the first Nobel Peace Prize controversy. Henry Kissinger’s “secret bombings” in Cambodia should have earned him a trip to The Hague, but instead he was invited to Oslo in 1973. Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the prize in 1991 “for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” and is now standing idly by as the Myanmar military commits heinous acts of genocide.

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Trump believes he deserves credit for improving relations between North Korea and South Korea, but Kim Jong-Un, Moon Jae-In, and even Xi Jinping have arguably played a more significant role. We definitely can’t rule Trump out, but +300 is a little short.

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Previous Nobel Prize Winners

Previous Winners Year
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons 2017
Juan Manuel Santos 2016
Carlos Puigdemont 2015
Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet 2014
Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi 2013
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 2012
Tawakkul Karman, Leymah Gbowee, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 2011
 Liu Xiaobo 2010
Barack Obama 2009
Martti Ahtisaari 2008
Al Gore 2007

Where is the Value?

The value is with the favorites. Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-In have short odds at -150, but they’re also by far the most likely candidates.

Kim Dae-jung, the former president of South Korea, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 “for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular.” Dae-jung proposed the Sunshine Policy, which eased tensions between North and South Korea.

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Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-In went one better in 2018. The two leaders met in April and agreed to officially end the Korean war and begin the process of complete denuclearization. There’s still a lot that needs to be done and all the goodwill created could vanish in an instant, but what they’ve accomplished so far places them as the heavy favorite to win the prize.

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