pageok
pageok
pageok
Bill Richardson Has Been Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize Four Times,

his new ad touts. Wow, that's quite an honor! Uh, except all it takes to get that status is to four times get nominations from any "professor[] of social sciences, history, philosophy, law [or] theology" or any judge or national legislator in any country. That includes, for instance, me. I could nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize four times, and then you could say in your commercials that you've been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times.

To be fair, this is one small item in the commercial, and Richardson may well deserve recognition as a peacemaker on the merits; I'm speaking here only of the one tidbit about which I have something relevant to say. But it seems to me that this particular "credential" doesn't belong in the ad: If I'm right that the credential is likely to be impressive only to people who don't know how easy it is to get, then it's more misleading than informative.

Thanks to fellow lawprof — and fellow potential Nobel Peace Prize nominator — Steve Lubet for passing along the video (though I have no idea whether this is what he had in mind when passing it along).

Steve Lubet (mail):
That's not at all what I had in mind, though you obviously take your chances when you pass something along to Eugene.

Do yourselves a favor and click on the link. The ad is very funny, and I think it puts Richardson in an extremely good light.
5.10.2007 3:00pm
badger (mail):
Isn't the bigger question whether or not they were worthwhile nominations? If a vet tells me he has four purple hearts, that could mean four relatively minor wounds or four pieces of shrapnel in his brain. But there's no way that somebody could say that anybody asking for recognition of his four purple hearts is padding his resume or misleading his audience, regardless if the seriousness of the wounds.
5.10.2007 3:00pm
badger (mail):
Isn't the bigger question whether or not they were worthwhile nominations? If a vet tells me he has four purple hearts, that could mean four relatively minor wounds or four pieces of shrapnel in his brain. But there's no way that somebody could say that anybody asking for recognition of his four purple hearts is padding his resume or misleading his audience, regardless if the seriousness of the wounds.
5.10.2007 3:01pm
Steve Lubet (mail):
Here is the link for the ad (easier than scrolling back to the top):
5.10.2007 3:02pm
Colin (mail):
I ran across this issue a while ago when some creationist (I forget who) was claiming his Nobel Prize nomination as a credential.

What would you charge for a nomination? I'd love to pad my resume with something like that.
5.10.2007 3:03pm
Dave N (mail):
I just saw some piece that adoringly mentioned that the singer Bono has been nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Nobel Peace Prise. So I guess Richardson is in good company.
5.10.2007 3:06pm
Prospero (mail):
Richardson may be the only adult in the Dem presidential candidates. I am sorry to see him trailing behind the evil, cold, scripted one, and behind the who knows who he really is PR fluff guy.
5.10.2007 3:12pm
myalterego:
I loved the line, "For what we're looking for, you might be a little overqualified". Richardson is the best the Dems have on paper, and probably the best they have period. Looking at the field of all 19 (yes, 19) declared candidates in both parties, I'd probably say he is in fact the most qualified overall. But since when does that mean he'd win, or even be competitive?
5.10.2007 3:24pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

Here's a link about the first three of Richardson's nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, who nominated him, and some of their stated reasons for doing so. This one struck me as notable:

His brokering of an agreement, after securing a military stand-down, for face-to-face peace talks between the Taliban regime and opposing factions in Afghanistan.


Here's a press release that then Ambassador Richardson released about the negotiations. I suspect that should Richardson be on a 2008 presidential ticket, the negotiations with the Taliban and their consequences will be greatly scrutinized.
5.10.2007 3:34pm
Preferred Customer:
It may not be as high an honor as it seems "just to be nominated," but it strikes me that the fact that people were willing to nominate the guy 4 times for the Peace Prize says *something,* unless the claim is that these are bogus nominations done only to pad his resume for future political office.
5.10.2007 3:40pm
MM:
I think Prof. Volokh is correct that nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize is not as exceptional as it sounds--he made this point before when Tookie Williams was scheduled for execution. And the Nobel Prize website does indeed mention that "professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology" are eligible to make nominations--quite a large pool.

But if you follow the link on the site for "Process of Nomination and Selection," it shows that initially "nomination forms are sent out" to eligible nominators. I'm an assistant professor of history and I have never received a nomination form. Perhaps the standards are more stringent, but they don't mention it on the website? Do you have to request a nomination form? Be a professor at a research university? (I'm at a regional liberal arts school.) Or a full professor?

Have any Volokh readers every nominated anyone, or do they know someone who has? I'd be interested to know more precisely how this works.
5.10.2007 4:01pm
Anon Y. Mous:
I could nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize four times, and then you could say in your commercials that you've been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times.
I accept your very kind offer. Was it my "Get Tough In Iraq" policy, or just my general advocacy of peace through strength that swayed you?
5.10.2007 4:13pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Anon Y. Mous: It was your being chosen as Time's Person of the Year that did it for me.
5.10.2007 4:29pm
ed o:
of course, a person who was one of the most corrupt politicians in the very corrupt state of Illinois got nominated for cleaning out Death Row after promising no blanket commutations to families of murder victims. Richardson can join the honor circle of such worthies as George Ryan and past winners such as Arafat.
5.10.2007 6:04pm
Syd (mail):
"Dave N (mail):
I just saw some piece that adoringly mentioned that the singer Bono has been nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Nobel Peace Prise. So I guess Richardson is in good company."

He was also Time's Person of the Year. Twice, actually, if you count last year.
5.10.2007 7:07pm
Dave N (mail):
Frankly, Eugene, there can be some profit in this. Anon Y Mous would like to be nominated and I would too. If you charged everyone who wanted a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, you might make a nice supplemental income.
5.10.2007 8:01pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
I think something's been lost in translation.
I'm under the impression that there's a group, maybe 200 people, who do the nomination, and the group basicly chooses itself - that while all members of the group have some qualification like being lawmakers or professors, being any old professor isn't enough.
Feel free to prove me wrong my nominating me.
Or if for some reason you don't think I'm worthy, perhaps my friend Citizen Prime would do.
But I need it to pad my resume.
5.10.2007 8:24pm
Eric Blair (mail):
Pffft. I have one of those. I got it for being part of UN Peace keeping forces in Korea, in 1987, the year they awarded it to all UN peacekeepers. Its no big thing. They give one out every year.
5.10.2007 8:24pm
Ken R:
The nominees are an illustrious that include Hitler (later retracted), Mussolini, and Stalin.
5.10.2007 8:47pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
EV

You have to have campaign commercials *sent* to you?

Chris
5.10.2007 9:36pm
Henri LeCompte (mail):
If memory serves, Rush Limbaugh was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year, so that should keep Gov. Richardson's head from getting too big.
5.10.2007 9:51pm
Can't find a good name:
Regular judges are not eligible to nominate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Judges of international courts, like the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court, are eligible, though.
5.11.2007 5:10am
Colin (mail):
Excuse me if someone has already posted this, but here is the list of qualified nominators:

1. Members of national assemblies and governments of states;
2. Members of international courts;
3. University rectors; professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes;
4. Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize;
5. Board members of organizations who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize;
6. Active and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; (proposals by members of the Committee to be submitted no later than at the first meeting of the Committee after February 1) and
7. Former advisers appointed by the Norwegian Nobel Institute.
5.11.2007 11:05am
dejapooh (mail):
Hey, that sounds like fun. Could you nominate me for a nominal fee?
5.11.2007 4:25pm