If I were a betting man, and I am, I would gladly take the long
odds and bet on John Edwards to win the Democratic nomination for
president this summer in Boston. The odds on Edwards winning the
White House are a little steeper.
The online sports book Olympic Sports (www.thegreek.com) has
published odds handicapping the presidential race as follows:
Republicans 1:3, Democrats 5:2 and the field at 100:1. What do
those ratios mean? They basically state how one would have to bet
$3 to win $1 if betting on a Republican, $2 to win $5 for a
Democrat and a dollar to win $100 if betting on Janet Jackson’s
right breast. Wait! I meant betting the field, not betting to
For anyone interested in wagering his/her fall tuition on the
race for the White House, here is my expertly crafted line, going
from most favored to most fantastical:
George W. Bush, Republican (1:2.5): Good ol’ Dubya is the clear
favorite for three reasons. First, he just happens to be the
current president of the United States. Second, he doesn’t
necessarily need to have the voters in Florida vote for him in
order to win the state’s electoral votes. Third, and most
important, he and his chief campaign strategist can and will
shamelessly out-spend and out-smear any Democratic contender.
John Kerry, Democrat (3:1): As of today the Democratic
nomination for president is John Kerry’s to lose. As Howard Dean
demonically demonstrated in Iowa, this is not a difficult feat to
accomplish. To Kerry’s credit, he does have the tough guy/war hero
image needed to usurp a wartime president during a time of war. To
his chagrin, Kerry is trying too hard to look like Lincoln (at
29!), speak like Kennedy and act like Franklin Roosevelt. Perhaps
the scariest skeleton in the senator’s closest, however, is the
fact that along with being a Vietnam veteran, he was also one of
the conflict’s most outspoken protesters. Kerry can’t have his cake
and eat it, too.
John Edwards, Democrat (7.5:1): Tuesday night Edwards not only
won South Carolina but also had a fantastic finish in Oklahoma.
“The politics of lifting people up beats the politics of tearing
people down,” Edwards told his stable of supporters Tuesday night.
A refreshing message this is, even from the mouth of a trial
lawyer, but if he gets the nomination the gloves will have to come
off if he hopes to beat Bush. Another silver bullet aimed at
Edwards is very silver; he has about as much funding as Dennis
Kucinich has supporters.
Hillary Clinton, Democrat (25:1): If Hillary decided to run
today and not wait for 2008, she could and would become an instant
contender. If she were to win, I might start drinking again.
Wesley Clark, Pseudo-Democrat (50:1): Clark is Dan Lyons’ (the
“read all about it!” guy on the Plaza) choice for president, and
when I asked him why he replied, “If we’re going to live in a
military society, we might as well have a general with a high IQ in
charge.” A good point, but I fear the general may be little more
than an elaborate joke. I think the general is not actually a real
person, but rather a robot created by Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and
controlled by whoever wins their daily rho-cham-beau match. He only
won Oklahoma because of its close proximity to both Kansas and
Arkansas, which meant the remote-control signal was strong enough
for both to have fun with.
Howard Dean, Democrat (10,000 maniacs:1): There is a chance we
may all go the rest of our lives and never see someone commit
political suicide like Howard Dean did in Iowa. Howard Dean’s
problem is he has the most expressive eyes of any human in history.
When he’s mad, he can’t hide it. When he’s dejected, he can’t hide
it. “I cannot tell a lie” may have worked for Washington 200 years
ago, but unfortunately for Dean it does not work in Washington
Janet Jackson’s nipple piercing, Independent (362436:1):
Oo-la-la… All in favor say, “I.”
I, currumba! Super! I’m not sure the piercing is 35, but I think
Janet might be.
Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton, Democrat ((:1): I really like
Al Sharpton. I think he has a great message and is the most lively
and charismatic of all the candidates, but without any real support
base, he is without any real hope of winning. Dennis Kucinich is
more detached from reality than I am.
At 7.5:1, a wager on John Edwards is the best bet in terms of
risk and reward. Not only is Edwards possessed of the panache
needed to burn Bush, but also he is also moderate enough to not
alienate us Democrats who favor the death penalty.
Joe is a senior majoring in history. His column runs every