Duck! and Gather


Posted on: June 16, 2008

I had drinks a few weeks ago in San Francisco with a fellow highly educated, liberal-leaning techy. I told him I’d love to take some betting action against someone who would pick McCain in November (I would pick Obama). He said he wouldn’t take that action, so we moved the conversation over to whether or not Obama would not merely win, but win in a landslide. He was thinking Obama would win, but not in a landslide. But as we began to parse the various Southern states, looking for some good betting ground, we realized there was no room for a good bet. So we left it at polite discussion.

Best bet I’ve made yet is with my wife. Her entire family is for McCain. She’s the only one for Obama. They ridicule her position. But they have her thinking Obama won’t win, even though she’d prefer that result. So we made a bet: Obama wins, we have another kid; McCain wins, no more kids for us. Of course I won’t hold her to that bet once the landslide results are in November 4. But at least it feels good to pretend like I have something meaningful riding on this little bit of historical arbitrage. (I’ve been prodding her to offer her mom double or nothing on a small debt we owe her mom. i.e. McCain wins, we pay her mom $2X; Obama wins, we pay her mom $0. But my wife refuses to take advantage of ignorance.)

Anyway, check out Obama’s 50 state strategy. “Obama’s strategists don’t really believe he can beat John McCain in [generic “Red” state]. So why blow cash there?” The article goes on to describe an elegant “bleed the Soviet Union to death” strategy to beat McCain in the Fall.

I say what this modest strategy will buy is not merely a victory in the Fall. I say it will buy Obama a surprising populist landslide the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Anybody wanna take McCain?

6 Responses to "Landslide"

Thanks for the link Tom. I read that blog. It’s the same argument I’ve read over and again. The author is an obvious Enneagram 5. The intellectual approach is the following: (1) assume the future = the recent history + eplison; and (2) truth is found only by looking deeper and deeper at the data. Starting with these two assumptions, I’d reach the same conclusions he has. But I don’t share these assumptions. American history is rife with sharp historical breaks — political, social, economic — occurring every twenty years or so. That is, we have slow, incremental change for 20 years, then we have a quantum break, followed by slow incremental changes for the next 20 years, and so on. So to see these quantum changes, we need to back up first, and see the historical pattern, before digging deeper. This “broader before deeper” action helps focus our attention on what signals to notice when we do dig deeper.

Bloody hell. I tried to post a comment on that blog post that Tom cited. I was trying to see if that guy will take my bet. Looks like comments can’t be posted. What’s the point of a blog is you can’t post comments?

[…] what Obama has been doing since I posted my Landslide prediction two weeks ago, I might just have to downgrade that one. Read Ariana Huffington’s […]

[…] In late 2006, I predicted that Obama would win the presidency. I still believe that, athough not I’m not anymore quite so bullish as to be calling for a landslide. […]

[…] glad to say that my landslide prediction is back on as of this […]

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for the money has gone too far

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