Thursday, February 19, 2015

Your Pre-Primary Presidential Prognostication Primer.

Wow, that snuck up on me. Sorry for being a little slow on the uptake this time around.

Maybe you didn’t realize this, either, but were you aware that less than a year from today—next February 1—the Iowa Caucuses kick off the 2016 presidential campaign season?

What’s that you say, friend? You care as much about the Florida primary as Chevy Chase cares about what happened to his neck? Understandable.

But for better or worse, this is the way our storied republic whittles down its lengthy list of oligarchs, leaving two battle-worn billionaires to throw down in November. It’ll be another bloody cage-match to see which smarmy suit wins the privilege to age ungracefully at 1600 Penn for the next four years.

Since my only motivations for this analysis are a well-informed electorate—and some easy jokes—I’ve decided to break down the race based on today’s front-running candidates. And while gambling on elections is illegal in Nevada casinos, it isn't in Europe, where several British sports books have posted the 2016 presidential odds. 

A popular wagering site called Ladbrokes, currently lists Ms. Clinton as the overall favorite at 6 to 4. We’ll go ahead and save the party of donkey for another time, because currently, Hillary Clinton’s closest challengers are Elizabeth Warren at 25 to 1 and Backrubbin' Joe Biden at 33 to 1 odds.

In my opinion, the biggest obstacle Hillary faces is herself—and that freaking voice of hers. With each decibel raised above a normal conversational tone, its earsplitting pitch makes another part of my exterior retreat hastily into the rough-hewn recesses of my body. 

So let’s talk about the Republicans, since this one is wide open. I had no idea how huge this field was, but according to, no less than sixteen G.O.P. hopefuls are already carving circles in the corn crops of Iowa in hopeful anticipation of a good showing next winter. Barring any major gaffes (which should never be barred with these folks), here are next year’s likely front runners:

Senator Ted Cruz, Texas

Current odds: 33 to 1

Why he may be our next president: America likes cool names and Cruz is a cool name, as opposed to Cruise, which implies Napoleonic douchery.

Why he won’t be our next president: In April of 2012, Cruz threatened to throw his body in front of a train to stop Obamacare. Should that ever happen, chances are he won’t be president. Plus he looks too much like Joe McCarthy, with many of the same attitudes about “us” and “them.”

Inspirational quote: “If you hate Jewish people, you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ.”

What he was also thinking: “But those Muslims? Different story.”

Prediction: Out before Super Tuesday. 

Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana

Current Odds: 12 to 1

Why he may be our next president: Governor Jindal continues to support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. 

We know America is champing at the bit to get that done. 

Why he won’t be our next president: If you’re going to run for our nation’s highest office with a name like “Bobby,” you better be as good as the original Bobby. 

Don't think so. 

Inspirational quote: “Members of Congress must live according to the same laws as everyone else.”

What he was also thinking: “That’s why I’m a governor.”

Prediction: Jindal’s momentum will carry him through the Arizona Primary on March 22. 
Unfortunately, he’ll be profiled, pulled over and jailed on his way out of a Cheesecake Factory in Yuma and completely drain his war chest proving he really isn’t Latino.

Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky

Current odds: 8 to 1

Why he may be our next president: Again, the guy’s got a great name, one that reminds us of Almond Joys, Butterfingers and maps.

Why he won’t be our next president: Paul is a self-avowed Libertarian who opposes a woman’s right to choose. That’s like opening a restaurant with awesome food but no plates.

Inspirational quote: “I’m not someone who’s sort of still trying to figure out what I believe in.”

What he was also thinking: “You know, sort of.”

Prediction: Senator Paul’s campaign will implode prior to a televised debate in Indiana. Not knowing his microphone is live, he’ll refer to the former Arkansas governor as “Mike Fuckasheep.” Chris Christie will be seen silently snickering, leading to a surge in his poll numbers.

Governor Jeb Bush, Florida

Current odds: 11 to 2

Why he may be our next president: Because he deserves it, goddammit. How many late nights did he lie in bed, woken up by his eff-up older brother drunkenly screaming at Poppy while Mom tried to sooth his angst with back rubs, her pearls cool against the small of his neck?

Why he won’t be our next president: He’s an idiot, like all the rest of these people.

Inspirational quote: “Our children can achieve great things when we set high expectations for them.”

What he was also thinking: “Not too sure about your kids, though.”

Prediction: Governor Bush will lose the general election to Hillary Clinton on November 8. He'll get the silver medal, besting the largest field of challengers in recent memory, from Trump to Walker to Santorum to Perry to maybe even good old Grizzly Mom. 

Good God, what a shit show.

I hope this primer has helped. The goal of course was to save you a bit of homework, while providing some timely gambling advice.

Game on.