Hey Kids! The Skipster is here to open his big bag 'o joy for the month! How is everyone doing out there today? We have anyone visiting from out of town? Go ahead, raise your hand if you're a tourist - you did it didn't you? You just found yourself alone in your room, smiling like an idiot with your hand over your head didn't you? That's OK, I know that you're not all that bright, I just do it to screw with your head, call it a hobby.
I'm sitting here on a rainy Wednesday in the middle of March wondering why I bother getting out of bed at all. It's just one of those days you know? Then I realize that Super Tuesday was yesterday and now that we have the nominees, you are going to need me to tell you how to bet - err, vote this election year. Scratch that attempt at social consciousness, I am going to tell you how to make bank on this election, cause frankly, that really is all that matters.
I'm not like the rest of those self-proclaimed pundits, who give these wishy-washy prognostications like "Well if Bush can move back to the center and avoid having his message defined for him he may have a chance in Rhode Island." Oh no, I give you valuable insight that you can use when calling your bookie. I will tell you to take Gore and give the points and I will do it early enough that you can get some decent odds. I am all about service to you, my reading public. Before we get into the your betting strategy, let's take a look at how we got here.
You know I was little concerned when the McCain machine came out of nowhere to put a scare into Junior's minions. Unlike Junior, McCain has that Reaganesque ability to make otherwise rational people completely ignore what he is saying and focus instead on how he is saying it. You found all of these Democrats and independents who would never dream of voting for Bush or Dole or any other Republican flocking to McCain because of his character. This worried me folks, cause quite frankly it is difficult to make book on charisma. Sometimes it is enough, sometimes it isn't, but I wouldn't want my hard earned wagering fund involved one way or the other.
Then, to make matters worse, McCain actually came out and said what all good political junkies have known for quite some time, that as long as the Republican establishment was owned part and parcel by the religious right, they would never get so much as a sniff at the Whitehouse. This is nothing new folks. This is something that the Republican moderates have known for a while now and have always tried to downplay. They know that they need the right wing crazies to maintain their lock on the Congress, but those same crazies are an albatross come general election time.
Simply put, this country will not elect a president that says "I am against a woman's right to choose and I will use my presidential power to curtail that right." Yet, that is exactly what the Christian right demands of any candidate before they will support them. Oddly enough, that is what John McCain believes, he is just smart enough not to say it out loud where the voters might hear him. The smart boys in the Republican party figured that if they set Junior up with all of the endorsements and all of the money, he could become the de facto nominee without ever having to make that pledge to the radical right. Unfortunately, John McCain jumped into the race and Junior found himself desperately in need of the right's support to get the nod. Welcome to Bob Jones University Junior, have fun explaining your visit in November.
As you can see it's been a weird race. You have a right wing, war hero, anti-abortion candidate running on a reform ticket that drives the moderate party favorite to the right to secure the nomination. Weird stuff, but that is all over now. The Republicans, in all of their wisdom, looked at the primary numbers and said to themselves, "Hmm, McCain is doubling the turnout and pulling in Democrats and independents like there's no tomorrow, we'd better shut him down before he does something crazy like win the Whitehouse." "Why would they do that?" you might wonder. They did that because McCain is not their boy, Junior is their chosen one and they have convinced themselves that Junior has the magic touch to get them to the promised land. If it's me, I jump ship on Junior after New Hampshire and sign the pink slip of the party over to McCain. He is obviously the only Republican out there today with a chance of beating Clinton - sorry, Gore, in November.
Happily for us Democrats, this is not what they did. They persevered and managed to whack out John McCain on Super Tuesday. So now it is Junior against Gore in November and Al has to be licking his chops at this match up. After brushing off a feeble run by Bill Bradley, Al has a united, very moderate, Democratic party lined up behind him to smite Junior all the way back to Texas. Junior, on the other hand, has half a party of pissed off centrists thinking that maybe four more years of Gore wouldn't be so bad if it would get the radical right off their backs.
"So how do I bet this one?" is what you are asking right now. Well let me put it to you this way. One candidate is the sitting Vice President during a time of unrivaled peace and prosperity. He has been integrally involved in an administration that can claim not only to have beaten inflation, unemployment and economic stagnation, but can also claim to have balanced the budget and started to pay down the debt. Fiscal responsibility, social progress, a time of unparalleled prosperity and no major international threats to speak of. Who is there to knock this candidate off and claim the crown? A legacy, a man who is so obviously out of his depth that it makes you wince to even watch him speak. This man makes me long for those heady intellectual days of the Quayl(e) 2000 campaign.
"So how do I bet this one?!" you ask again, since you have no appreciation for the fine latticework of logic that is political handicapping and want only to know how to make filthy lucre off of your country's quest for leadership. Well fine, take Gore and give up 6.5 points to be safe, 10 if you are feeling particularly ambitious. I don't think it will be more than 6.5 personally, but this race is not going to be as close as it looks. Gore won't win by huge margin only because Junior is just bland enough to poll a solid 40% with no effort at all. Short of a depression or a World War, Gore should take this one by 5 to 10 points without breaking a sweat. You might see a pretty solid thumping in the number of states category, but Junior's lack of personality argues against it. You need to have either radical ideas or a strong personality to piss people off enough to make a landslide and Junior has neither. This is not the race to make a killing on, unless of course you can find one of God's soldiers to give you odds on Al winning it all. Unfortunately, they usually don't gamble much, yet another reason to pimp-slap their candidate back to the sticks.