Feb 042004
Authors: Joe Marshall

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


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