December 11, 2011

"A $10,000 bet between Romney and Perry tops chatter at GOP debate."

Typical post-debate headline. It was the spin among the ABC commentators right after the debate too. Everyone had the same take on it: The amount of the bet is so much it reminds people that Romney's really rich, and that's bad.

I had 3 responses to that last night, and here they are, in the order that they crossed my mind:

1. When I heard Romney's "Rick, I’ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks?" my instant reaction was that it's gambling. Are Mormons allowed to gamble? And many voters frown on gambling or regard it as a sin. Is a bet like that, especially when made for rhetorical purposes, considered gambling by people who are opposed to bad gambling? Will this make people think Romney really isn't very religious, and, if so, will that help him in some quarters?

2. When I heard commentators calling attention to the $10,000 amount, I was surprised, especially since they were all harping on the same point. (Presumably, tweets got the meme going.) The amount, if anything, seemed small to me, and not because I'm rich. When people are essentially saying "I'm absolutely sure I'm right" — which Romney was — they'll often say "I'll bet you a million dollars." Kids say that. You have to say a large amount, because the point is that you know you're not going to lose it. It's like saying "I'll eat my hat." You don't name an item that won't be too hard to eat. If anything, the problem with $10,000 was that it's not enough to make the point. But I think Romney made the number small to seem more like a modest, regular guy. Plus "I'll bet you a million dollars" sounds childish.

3. Finally, what's wrong with a candidate being wealthy? Candidates for President are men and women in the later stages of their careers. They are presenting themselves as highly competent and knowledgeable about economic matters. If they're not rich, why should we trust them managing our prosperity? The main reason some good candidates aren't rich is that they've spent their careers in government. Fine. But Romney hasn't, and indeed, that's his pitch: He's experienced in the private sector. If so, he'd better be rich. We should want someone who's worked for decades in private business but hasn't gotten rich to switch over to being President of the United States? We want the United States to grow richer! Rich is good. The commentators who imply that rich isn't good are letting their leftism show.

85 comments:

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: Will this make people think Romney really isn't very religious, and, if so, will that help him in some quarters?

Not when he had made a point, earlier in the debate, of highlighting the constancy of his faith. Sounds more like a flip-flop.

He was in a jam and made an off-the-cuff remark which is now being used against him. That's supposed to be what Newt does!

Craig said...

The presidency should be charitable volunteer work.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Psychedelic George said...

The candidates were asked by megamillionaire Diane Sawyer if they had had to give up something because they too feel the pain of the nation's economic woes.

Romney's answer was something like "I wasn't born poor, but my father was, and he made me rake leaves."

Bachmann said that she clips coupons (for the grocery store). Like, when would she have time for that?

Perry said his family had an outhouse until he was five, though, of course, it would have been indelicate for him to use such a word.

Paul turned it into a joke, saying that while he worked his way through college, his wife worked, so he could go to med. school.

Gingrich said he eats live baby ducks.

Not one of the candidates gave me a gut feel that they have first-hand experience with what's going on economically--things they've personally seen, heard, tasted. That's what I'd like to hear.

Before the debate I watched "The Grapes of Wrath." These candidates need to expose themselves to what wretches feel and shake off life's luxuries to show the poor voters that God is more just. Photo ops at Target don't cut it.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: But Romney hasn't, and indeed, that's his pitch: He's experienced in the private sector.

Here's the thing, Romney gives the impression he's embarrassed by his entire life and wishes he were a different person. He doesn't just say he's experienced in the private sector, he says he spent his life there, which is a lie.

I don't know if we'll be hearing that lie anymore:

1. Newt got Romney to admit he would have been a career politician if he could.

2. Newt used that lie to hilarious effect.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Psychedelic George: The candidates were asked by megamillionaire Diane Sawyer if they had had to give up something because they too feel the pain of the nation's economic woes....

...Before the debate I watched "The Grapes of Wrath."

Before the debate I watched "Highlander". Seemed fitting.

Romney gave a great response to that question. And Bachmann didn't just say she clipped coupons, she said she was a child laborer.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Apart from a certain general frugality, there are two primary factors controlling how well off someone is likely to be at, say, age 60.

The most important of these is what line of work you choose to go into. Secondarily, one's competence at that work.

I'm a reasonably competent farmer, but agricultural production is not a career in which anyone is likely to become rich. That's okay by me, since it has many other advantages and benefits, along with some real hair-pullers.

Others choose high-dollar careers but are quite simply no good at them. Most guys choosing baseball never make it anywhere near the majors.

Isn't that choice and the emphasis on performance what makes America great?

Andy R. said...

It's going to be interesting to watch Ann contort herself in various ways to support Romney.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Bart Hall: Isn't that choice and the emphasis on performance what makes America great?

We can say all sorts of brilliant things now, but what matters is what the candidates said in the debate. If Romney becomes the candidate he's going to have to address his wealth. That's the baggage any Republican with money has to deal with. It's not fair but it's how it is. The question is, can Romney deal with that baggage?

Ameryx said...

I submit that the proposed bet was not "gambling". Presumably, Romney knows whether the paperback edition of his book was changed in the way Perry assets it was. This was not a situation where the outcome is uncertain.
My instant impression was that Romney did a good job in slapping down Perry's charge. He had already tried contradicting Perry. Absent any evidence, that kind of exchange resolves nothing. Bringing copies of each edition would have been tedious, and may have violated a "no props" rule.
It seems to me that one needs to have a pre-existing animus against Romney to interpret that exchange as a loss for Romney.

Beta Rube said...

I thought Romney's bet remark was a harmless playground line between a couple of sparring 10 year olds.

I thought the line was flighty and not effective, but to go from that to the notion that he's too rich to be President doesn't make sense to me. Does the reaction to that line mean that Obama's class warfare is so entrenched that it's even defining the Republicans now?

timmaguire42 said...

No matter the dollar amount, the "I bet you" gambit is childish, marking Romney as unfit to be taken seriously.

phx said...

No matter the dollar amount, the "I bet you" gambit is childish, marking Romney as unfit to be taken seriously.

That's it. I can just see him saying it to Putin.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Ameryx: It seems to me that one needs to have a pre-existing animus against Romney to interpret that exchange as a loss for Romney.

For me, it's not that the exchange had a winner or loser, but that it was so awkward and provided ammunition for Romney detractors.

We all have prejudices and Romney isn't helping us overcome them.

michaele said...

I found it more mockable when sometime during the debate, Michelle Bachman gave an answer that she was 55 years old and had been in business for 50 of those years. My family and I all laughed and said almost simultaneously that must have been quite a lemonade stand empire she started at 5.

Psychedelic George said...

The most intriguing line of the night was Romney's jab at Gingrich's interest in creating permanent lunar colonies.

Yes, Mr. Romney, let's think small. Let's not imagine something unbelievable. Let's say we can't. Just say no.

For 200 years this nation has been in the business of saying "Yes" to the impossible.

You can find videos of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk casually talking about his company flying to Mars. There's vision. Elect him.

I also recently learned of a project to build "The Statue of Responsibility" in a west coast harbor. This would be equal in size to the Statue of Liberty. It's the idea of the late Viktor Frankl, a psychotherapist who survived multiple Nazi death camps. There's a foundation dedicated to its construction.

Imagine if one of these candidates said he supported the construction of a massive statue dedicated to the concept of national responsibility.

No names, please said...

What Romney should have said: "You've made this mistake before, Rick. You need to have your staff read what I wrote a little more closely."

Clearly, any comment that plays to a stereotype is what the MSM is looking for.

The fuss over the $10K be is stupid. It was a harmless and common rhetorical device.

AJ Lynch said...

Michaele:

Bachmann was attempting to point out her time in the public sector was limited when she said she had been in the private sector for 50 years. I think she worded it clumsily but it was not idiotic nor laughable IMO. And I am not a Bachmann supporter.

Phil 3:14 said...

gosh, Republicans are SO WEIRD, SO EXTREME!

And they're always fighting, so divisive

Paco Wové said...

"I'm rich."

Do you have a swimming pool full of dollar bills somewhere where you can just dive in and bathe in all that sweet, sweet moolah?

America's Politico said...

Romney is screwed. The press today is all talking about this bet with Perry. One mistake is all Press wanted. They want Newt. They real goal: Re-elect the POTUS. Thus I like the Press. I love the Press.

I also love the GOP. They really hate Romney. So, I love the GOP.

But, as a high-price consultant: There was only one victor last night: Romney (minus one oversight of the bet).

But, he is screwed now. Newt is the king. Perry is the V-POTUS nominee.

The GOP ticket: Newt/Perry. Yes, POTUS is re-elected. Thanks god for the American Press.

===========

In an alternative reality: the GOP ticket would be Romney/Jindal. But, that is in another galaxy. Not on Earth, where GOP live in virtual reality of no victories.

Paco Wové said...

"I can just see him saying it to Putin."

"Oh yeah, Vladdy? You think you're going to stop our missile shields? Well, I double-dog dare you to try to stop us!"

sane_voter said...

I didn't think anything of Romney's bet at the time, and was surprised at the post debate focus about it by ABC.

I wish Bachmann would go ahead and drop out, she is wasting everyones time. Her "Newt Romney" attack was lame.

Perry had his best debate so far, and his comment about Obama letting Iran continue to have our drone, as a way of chiding the focus of Newt's Palestinian remark, was his best moment.

Newt won by not saying anything dumb and credibly refuting the attacks against him.

Romney did fine, except for the Moon mining comment, but did not diminish Newt so he lost.

Rick Santorum should leave with Michele as well.

Ron Paul scored points on his comments about the oath of office and the Fed.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Phil 3:14: And they're always fighting, so divisive.

Which is why Newt should pick Romney as his VP.

America's Politico said...

Mark these words:

December 10, 2011, is the date that GOP killed their chances to victory.

December 10, 2011 the Press nominated Newt to be the GOP nominee. The GOP voters will now just follow like robots.

As a consultant, I am in utter shock. I would have thought that GOP would be excited about the victory by just talking about Romney, Romney, and Romney.

I mean, just think, Romney/Jindal, they would cream Obama/Biden everywhere.

Now, I am going to get paid more and more as POTUS will be re-elected.

I just cannot go wrong here. So, happy. So, good is the press for my business.

Meade said...

Ready to make my prediction...

2020: President Romney widely understood by Republicans as having been the greatest president of the modern era, topping even Reagan for having defended and advanced conservative principles of federalism, free markets, and freedom for individuals.

Please mark it.

Beta Rube said...

This will happen right after Mitt scores the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XXXXLMNOP.

Andy R. said...

Ready to make my prediction...

2020: President Romney widely understood by Republicans as having been the greatest president of the modern era, topping even Reagan for having defended and advanced conservative principles of federalism, free markets, and freedom for individuals.

Please mark it.


It doesn't count unless you offer to bet 10,000 dollars.

EDH said...

Saying $10,000 "to the winner's favorite charity, Rick" would have obviated most of the negative implication from the challenge.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shiloh said...

Althouse, please feel free to stop apologizing for mittens at any time ... or not.

And I would mention to Meade his early predictions are silly, but they are somewhat entertaining
:D so as always, it's a trade-off.

I predict Meade will keep makin' inane political predictions er wishin'/hopin' his dreams come true lol.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Meade,

Our problem isn't that rich folks have been too restrained by taxes and regulation such that they couldn't increase their income by 275% over the last thirty years, while the middle class was mostly treading water.

It is quaint that you're so devoted to rightwing talking points, and Romney.


Our problem is that our workers and oldies (i.e. the Meadehouse demo) are (on average) too lazy and entitled. The best workers (on average) that I've come across are immigrants (incl illegal Mexicans/Central Americans). Old TPers whining about keeping the gov out of their Medicare, are the problem, not the solution.

I don't think Romney is planning on cutting off deadbeat American oldies (notice that last night he went after BHO for cutting Medicare) at the same time he opens the immigration flood gates, so we can dilute and/or put a fire under lazy American workers.

I can't understand why anyone would, w/ a straight face, ape the theory that more tax cuts and deregulation for the rich is the solution to our problems.

shiloh said...

Again, mittens is so uncomfortable in his own skin it's cringeworthy. At least Gingrich isn't afraid/ashamed to look like the low life scumbag/pile o' crap he really is.

Apologies to low life scumbags!

edutcher said...

The answer to #1, I believe, is, "No".

As far as #2 goes, a good point. Everyone is saying the attacks got to Milton, and they probably did.

And #3, you can't run for POTUS without money, or unless someone who owns you, the way Sam Walton and Don Tyson owned Willie, or Dr Evil owns GodZero.

So that would make Milton, in particular, his own man, which is a very good thing.

Andy R. said...

It's going to be interesting to watch Ann contort herself in various ways to support Romney.

No, easiest thing in the world.

ABO.

Bender said...

The main reason some good candidates aren't rich is that they've spent their careers in government.

??????

This must be one of those entrenched fallacies, like the one about teachers being underpaid. Government employees are better paid, and have infinitely greater benefits and, most importantly, job security, than those in the private sector. And office holders have proven themselves quite cabable of getting richer while in office -- often exponentially so.
_____________________

Rich is good. The commentators who imply that rich isn't good are letting their leftism show.

I guess I'm a raging leftie, then. There is nothing to indicate that wealth is, per se, ipso facto, in and of itself, a "good," moral, social, political, or otherwise. Many rich are walking idiots and have been for generations, and many of those are bastions of the Democrat Party.

In fact, many if not most of the ultra-rich lean quite heavily to the left. And often they use their supposed inherent superior economic knowledge, that they obtain merely from being or getting rich, to screw things up for everyone else economically.

The guy who flips hamburgers for $8/hour and simply wants the opportunity to improve without government obstructing his way is infinitely more wise and knowledgeable about what this country needs that some rich government officeholder or bureaucrat who treats the economy like his plaything. Just look at what all the MANY rich guys in the Obama Administration have done to crash the economy.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"Just look at what all the MANY rich guys in the Obama Administration have done to crash the economy."

Er....so does "crash the economy" get measured in some way other than GDP?

Traditionalists (i.e. those who measure the economy w/ GDP) would say that his predecessor (Mr. tax cutter) crashed the economy, and then BHO oversaw a painfully slow economic recovery.

J said...

Settle the score: pistols at dawn on the spit, 20 paces.

Tex Perry may be un-PC (and the wrong choice for PotUS) but Romney the media-darling--note the routine flashes to Bimbo-in-chief Ann-- came off worse, and as usual (and in mormonic fashion) weaseled his way out of any definitive statement. Ie, he did support an individual mandate.

Bender said...

Traditionalists would say that if Obama, the Dems, and the rest of activist government had simply left things alone, then we would have come out of the recession and started a vigorous and growing recovery well over a year ago, as we have in past economic cycles.

But, as usual, government intervention made things worse. Obama made things worse.

Cedarford said...

Psychedelic George said...
The most intriguing line of the night was Romney's jab at Gingrich's interest in creating permanent lunar colonies.

Yes, Mr. Romney, let's think small. Let's not imagine something unbelievable. Let's say we can't. Just say no.

For 200 years this nation has been in the business of saying "Yes" to the impossible.

You can find videos of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk casually talking about his company flying to Mars. There's vision. Elect him
====================
You mistake wild, preposterous thinking for "vision".
Just because someone starts spouting rubbish about lunar colonies or how one day everyone will be rich once he starts his Presidential initiative to successfully synthesize gold from lead - does not make them Presidential material.

Claiming 5 million new great-paying Green Jobs will be created does not count as "transcending vision"...but counts towards the reputation of a glib orator running his mouth off without a clue.

I wouldn't be surprised if Dennis Kucinich pronounced his "vision" of America's future will be a crime-free redistributive society where vegans fly around in anti-gravity boots and total equality of income and justice exists.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Bender,

So, when you conclude that this was a normal recession, you know more than:

Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics and international business at New York
University, Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics and public policy at Harvard
University, and Nariman Behravesh, chief economist and executive vice president
for IHS Global Insight, all agreed that this is the worst financial crisis since
the Great Depression.



And, let's not forget that less stimulus in response was tried unsuccessfully, in Europe. And, more stimulus (relative to each country's GDP) was tried successfully, in China. It's not a certainty that less stimulus was the right move.

Meade said...

"And, more stimulus (relative to each country's GDP) was tried successfully, in China. "

Who wants to be China?

Big Mike said...

Answering #3, there's nothing wrong with a presidential candidate being wealthy. Barack Obama is wealthy by his own standards. Case closed.

Answering #1 and #2 at the same time, some gambles are nothing of the kind. I am willing to bet every commentator on this thread $1 million apiece that 2 + 2 = 4 (in base 4 or higher). They get all the other numbers besides 4. Isn't that fair?

Romney knows what's in his own book (which may put him ahead of Barack Obama about Obama's books if what Ayers says is true) and he chose this way to emphasize that Perry is wrong. Big whoop.

(N.B. 2 + 2 = 11 in base 3. In base -3 then 2 + 2 = 121. Proof is left to the reader. ;-)

Rick said...

Psychedelic George said...
The most intriguing line of the night was Romney's jab at Gingrich's interest in creating permanent lunar colonies.
Yes, Mr. Romney, let's think small. Let's not imagine something unbelievable. Let's say we can't. Just say no.

12/11/11 8:11 AM
Very nice post.
Newt's answer to this downer Romney jab was great. I have told my granddaughters, who get the point, what it was like when Sputnk went up, and how we kids were horrified; how our 8th-grade teacher hung a model of Sputnik from the light ballast in our classroom, and we all knew that we were working and studying and learning to overcome that and make America the best in space. President Kennedy doubled down on that with great success. It is amazing how far we have fallen from those days.
My granddaughters are not happy that if America wants to put a person in space we need to pay Russia for a ride.

J said...

But, as usual, government intervention made things worse.

No. And would require a few pages of explanation either way. Bush's tax slashes for the wealthy made things worse (ie, engage in expensive foreign wars, while cutting the tax revenues which would pay for it? preposterous). And lets not forget (especially ..putative catholics) JPII's unwavering criticism of the Bush war machine, and...American capitalism.

edutcher said...

Meade said...

"And, more stimulus (relative to each country's GDP) was tried successfully, in China. "

Who wants to be China?


Especially since everyone's worried they're about to implode.

The real estate market's tanked there, housing prices are half what they were a year ago and domestic consumer demand is half what it was a couple of years ago.

The Red Chinese did what Hitler did in the mid-30s and it looks as if we're about to find out what would have happened if there hadn't been a war.

J said...

Ah yes stimulus as a commie plot! The wingnut idiotic response. Keynes opposed the communists consistently. And the evidence shows that stimulus does often work (and that the laissez-faire dreams of GOP-tards don't.)

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

According to con dogma is BHO to blame for the economic trouble in China and Europe?

AJ Lynch said...

Prez Obama allowed two partisan dopes, Pelosi and Reid, to devise his stimulus plan.

That was the first critical issue of his presidential term and he made a gigantic mistake in judgment. Then he spent the next two years on Obamacare while the economy continue to suck. He is just not up to the job.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

No Lynch the Paultard --his economic team "devised" the stimulus plan. Take it up with Geithner, Summers, Krugman etc (or better check the evidence before brainfarting).

Meade said...

@J,

Did Lynch attack you personally first?

MayBee said...

Prez Obama allowed two partisan dopes, Pelosi and Reid, to devise his stimulus plan.

That was the first critical issue of his presidential term and he made a gigantic mistake in judgment.


Don't forget he started telling Nancy and Harry to work on the stimulus when he was still behind the podium with the Great Seal of The Office of President Elect.

There is no $10,000 bet making that is anywhere near as embarrassing as the whole Obama pre-presidency was.

J said...

He has, but he's hurling ad hominems at Miss Pelosi and Reid here. Ie, mere character attacks. (and Paultard's not ad hom.-- merely identifying. a common term)

The point on evidence holds, either way---endless unsubstantiated attacks on "stimulus" with no support.

AJ Lynch said...

J:

I was not responding to anything you vomited onto your keyboard.

Cedarford said...

Rick - "Newt's answer to this downer Romney jab was great. I have told my granddaughters, who get the point, what it was like when Sputnk went up."

The difference between an Idea Man and a Leader is the Idea Man just tosses good-sounding stuff out. A Leader has to weigh practicalities, the costs and benefits of any wild idea and see if it justifies use of scarce resources.
The space race was an entirely different beast than follow-up "visions" like lunar colonies and "Man to Mars!". From the beginning, every military strategist said we had to get in space for strategic reasons, politicians saw the need to join the Soviets in the "contest" the world was watching between capitalism and communism. And from the beginning, the business sector saw the importance of satellites for communications, weather, intelligence..and wanted to invest.

The "moon colonies" have no military or business support. There is no military value to the place according to DARPA and JCS in testimony..And not a single investor buys the idea that Helium 3 is of any value whatsoever given we cannot even make far more easily obtained deuterium-tritium fuse yet in a commercial process that happens at a far lower temperature and pressure than the never-done Helium 3 reaction.

The "visionaries" can only come up with a lame rationale - We must tax ourselves 2 trillion dollars to get people on the moon and build all the infrastructure and regular supply rockets to get them stuff the moon lacks...because it is THERE!
Edmund Hillary did climb Everest, but did not soak New Zealand taxpayers a few thousand each so he could climb it because "it was there!".

JohnJ said...

This morning in The Des Moines Register:

“Romney (with his bet) was casually offering the equivalent of about one-fifth of the average median income for an Iowa family.”

“Romney’s privileged background was driven home later when the candidates were asked whether they’d ever had to cut costs in their own family budget. ‘I didn’t grow up poor,’ Romney said, and noted that if voters are looking for someone who did, they’ll have to vote for somebody else.”

An indigent with a hard-scrapple upbringing: The new litmus test.

I’ve just about given up on my fellow Iowans. Against all reason, Gingrich seems to have the Evangelicals and has been steadily picking up primary voters with a self-identified economic grudge.

New Hampshire is the firewall.

ic said...

Better a rich person to become president than a person to become president to get rich: like moved out of the WH with truckloads of furniture which have to be returned when exposed; jet off to vacations in the style of the filthy rich, like separate jets for the Mrs, 3/4 million of other people's money for a week's off in foreign lands that most of the people who paid the bills could never afford...

I would rather have a president like TR who was rich and spent his presidency in breaking down monopoly syndicates of the rich than a president, a TR-wannabe, who spends his presidency getting rich and stimulating crony billionaires to get richer with people's money.

Canuck said...

Let them talk about hard cider, cider, cider,
And Log Cabins too,
It will only help to speed the ball
For Tippecanoe and Tyler too.

And with him we'll beat little Van, Van, Van is a washed up man.

caseym54 said...

Romney could use a better construction, such as "I'll bet you a million dollars against a jelly donut..."

That way the rich-man advantage that might trouble some is disarmed, and the level of certainty suggested is increased.

write_effort said...

How many times Newt is going to cover his ass by saying some version of "I speak as an historian"and get away with it?

MayBee said...

I don't understand how Romney offering a $10,000 fake bet (with his own money!) is outrageous in a world where our President will let his wife spend that much in a few minutes of flying time just because she wants to get a jump start on her vacation and can't wait for him.

How much taxpayer money did Pelosi spend on her liquor bill on her private military jet?

Honestly, we have somehow made a vice of talking about spending private money while spending public money on luxury is completely acceptable.

MayBee said...

Oh! And Romney's insensitive $10,000 is about 1/4th of what it takes to get a dinner with our President.

Rick said...

Cedarford:
I appreciate your thoughtful response.
It is hard to quantify the benefits of an enthused and inspired population, and it is easy to discount the squalor and financial ruin caused by Obama and Carter defeatism. In my personal view, the unquantifiable difference between those two attitudes would more than offset the additional taxes you mention in your comment.

Canuck said...

"Who wants to be China?"

Nobody wants their party system or their pollution.


But we'd all like some of their economic growth.

They are posed to be the biggest world economy within 20 years. Particularly if America and the Eurozone doesn't get their sh*t together.

J said...

You mean like offering any support for your typical uninformed brainfart on the "stimulus"?? Yeah in cyberland, you can can just point, click, and lie away--the teabug MO.

AJ Lynch said...

J:

Pelosi and Reid did construct the failed boondoggle Obama stimulus.

And a few comments up,MayBee has provided add'l support for my claim.

Have a nice day you dope.

Meade said...

Aj, please republish that comment, omitting the last line. Thanks.

Peter Hoh said...

I don't think the $10,000 bet is a big deal.

I know that sometimes, these things look different when you see them as opposed to read about them, but I'm not getting that vibe from this incident.

bgates said...

That's it. I can just see him saying it to Putin.

It would be so embarrassing to have our relations with Russia symbolized by something other than a prop from a Staples commercial with a mistranslation on it.

bgates said...

Romney (with his bet) was casually offering the equivalent of about one-fifth of the average median income for an Iowa family,

or almost double Diane Sawyer's hourly wage (assuming she makes $10M/yr, and I've seen claims of $12M dating to 2005, and that she works 50 40 hour weeks, which seems much less likely).

Titus said...

Romney's wealth is the least of his problems.

He is so gross.

AprilApple said...

If they don't go in wealthy, they sure do come out wealthy.
Just ask Clinton with his $50,000 per month check from Jon Corzine(D).
Add to that the endless $$$ speaking fees and book deals.

Big Mike said...

@J, refute this analysis of the stimulus.

DerTakhsit said...

I've been reading this blog for about four or five years.
There is a vein of comment that is always wrong about presidential politics in exactly the same way, that the progressive left was wrong about GWB. They overestimate the intelligence and skill of the candidates they favor when it comes to a general election and tend to use the schoolyard bully's logic in estimating opponents. I don't figure that there is a single Republican candidate that will survive the general election intact. Romney is Romney; utterly unlikable after sustained contact. Gingrich is Gingrich. He wants the Lincoln Douglass debates,thinks he's Lincoln,but in fact is Douglass-- the ideal debate opponent. Goad him into talking and he'll debate himself into a loss.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

BM,

Palladian has been playing all broke.

Who would have guessed that he and his Partners took nearly a $100MM from the gov over a decade.

cokaygne said...

These "debates" are so tedious. Everyone is playing for a gotcha moment that will be the next day's headline.

Romney is rich? Holy Cow! Well, let us save the taxpayers some money and cancel the election. 0 should win again because he did not make a $10,000 bet.

Writ Small said...

Curious that no one seems interested in who was right.

Hint: There's a reason Romney made the bet and Perry quickly put his tail between his legs.

Beldar said...

In 2007-2008, voters who examined Barack & Michelle Obama's financial success as Harvard Law grads had to wonder why, more than a decade into their respective law practices they still found themselves obliged to secure financing for the purchase of their house by conniving with now-convicted (then-friend and client) Tony Rezko, a Chicago slumlord and fixer. This despite the fact that the house and lot in question, even including an add-on to the property that was carved off of Rezko's adjacent lot to give Michelle a bigger garden, sold for a medium-high six-figure sum. As recently as Obama's failed run for Congress, he was being denied car rentals because his own credit cards were maxed out.

And American voters nonetheless put him in charge of the government of the largest economy in the history of the world at a time of intense financial crisis, with another looming demographic crisis about to make our current problems seem like a lunch-money argument.

It's not like this wasn't foreseeable.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I won't be holding my breath around here waiting for any rejection or indignation towards accusations that Obama is an out of touch elitist who flaunts his wealth.

DerTakhsit said...

C'mon Beldar. We put GWB in charge of the economy, a mediocre businessman who bootstrapped on the rich man's affirmative action, the legacy plan-- starting with his academic career and straight on through his stint as an MLB franchise president (unlike his own father, who refused his father's largesse, and made his own way). We got what we paid for there, too.

veni vidi vici said...

What a load. $10k sounds piddling, and it's not a bet if it's a sure thing; more a penalty!

Anyone who doesn't know by now that Romney's loaded and is likely to be put off by the sudden discovery that he's a wealthy man doesn't deserve the goddam franchise. Where were these noobs in 2008, after all? All the "Romney's a rich guy with expensive hair" memes already played themselves out back then, with the added irony that all the self-proclaimed "conservative" publications endorsed the guy, while now they're all clamoring away as quickly as possible. What the hell is wrong with people, anyway? How did Romney go from the man with the golden comb to the anti-endorsee in so short a time by "organs" (yeah, I mean that biologically) like National Review? It's not like much of anything has changed or come to light about him or his positions since the last go-round. If anyone's been thoroughly vetted in this race - and that includes the Dem candidate presumptive as well - it's Romney.

About the only thing people don't know about him is what the hell "Mitt" is the short form of.

A Conservative Teacher said...

I agree with you- Mitt Romney is out of touch with voters, who usually bet a million or a billion dollars on fake bets. He's too cheap and frugal and good with cash to be President- we want someone more wildly crazy this election, not a solid guy who throws out low-amount fake bets.

Sigivald said...

On point 2, Terry Pratchett has a trope he uses in his books, which is "Bet you a dollar?".

Used only when the speaker is absolutely sure of winning, and with the effect of making the listener question his position.

Not sure how well it works in real life, but it's an interesting tack.

("Bet you a million dollars" has no effect, because nobody takes it seriously as a bet, rather than signaling behavior. But the fact that it's not a serious bet undermines the signal somewhat.

A dollar bet? You can collect on that. Right now, in fact.

So that's serious in a way a million isn't, at least for people who aren't named Soros, Buffet, Gates, or Ellison, or have a title ending in "of Brunei".)

(Also, I think the Mormons won't be concerned with this "bet" as gambling.

Religions in general oppose gambling as addictive and dangerous to the support of families - in this case neither danger exists, and the bet is plainly a matter of rhetoric rather than risk-seeking, even if it's a "real" bet.

Legal issues and the like will probably be avoided, if they go anywhere with this, by making the bet a $10k donation to charity, rather than a transfer to the winner. Pure PR victory.)

Sabinal said...

"I won't be holding my breath around here waiting for any rejection or indignation towards accusations that Obama is an out of touch elitist who flaunts his wealth."

tell me about it.
I'm black and Obama has not shown any sympathy with being poor or suffering (not saying that blacks are suffering, but black people are least likely to criticize him except for Crack Emcee -- hi CE!) of anyone.

Obama lives the life of leisure. He plays basketball with NBA players. He goes on as many vacations *as W did* maybe even more. His wife took a 6 digit vacay with friends last year and their daughters are being taught at Sidwell Friends - an expensive private school. Yet Romney is criticized for being rich.

We as Dems/liberals cannot play this double standard for long. Democrats are slowly becoming the Dems of Antebellum times -- a small elite group that only care about themselves at the expense of others. Reynolds and Kotkin noticed this and it won't be long before more everyday schlubs like us realize it too, if we don't already.

Class warfare does not pay the rent.