Is V-P gambling a mugs game?

Is V-P gambling a mugs game?

    Why there’ll be no more bets on this by me

With most political betting I like to feel that for most of the time I’m ahead of the game and that if I call an outcome wrongly then I’ll be quick enough to recognise it and get out smartly at minimal cost.

The area that completely foxes me is what will be the big betting area in the next couple of months – who will be Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s running mates for the US presidential election on November 5th. For unlike most political outcomes these are down to, in each case, the decision of one man – and one man alone.

And there’s no way of even limiting the list of potential runners. They can be anybody provided they satisfy the US constitutional requirements on nationality and place of birth. So if we started to get reports that a non-politician, say Oprah Winfrey or Tiger Woods, were being considered by Obama they would soon go on the lists produced by the bookies.

Before you jump in just read what Obama said on the subject earlier in the month: “ time you hear from me about the vice presidential selection process will be when I have selected a vice president. And if you hear, you know, secondhand accounts, rumors, gossip about the selection process, you can take it from me that it is wrong because we’re not going to be talking about it in the press.”

There are currently 34 possibilities for the Democratic choice listed by UK bookmakers and I have had a dabble on five of them. First I thought that party pressure on Obama would cause him to choose Hillary; then I was quite persuaded by John Edwards, Jim Steve Webb looked interesting and I’ve money on him; and finally I became convinced that he would choose a woman and backed Kathleen Sebelius and Janet Napolitano.

One of these might still be there and I’m a net winner, but not for very much, if its Edwards, Sebelius or Napolitano. I’ve reduced my Hillary exposure to zero but that has been at a cost.

So far I’ve not been tempted by the GOP V-P market where the list of runners is almost as long but without the clear favourites of the Democratic list.

Without highly specific reliable information betting on this is a mug’s game. Stay away.

Mike Smithson

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