Mitt Romney throwing down a $10K bet during Saturday’s GOP debate is evidence he’s…out of touch? Bull. I say it shows he’s in touch.
Every weekend guys throw down meaningless $10,000 bets. It’s a tool to say: “I’m know I’m 100% correct and I’m going to embarrass you…so walk away from your claim right now or put your money where you’re mouth is.” It works like this:
Two guys having beers. Guy Number 1 says, “I’ve been working out a lot lately. I bet I can do 25 pull ups.”
Guy Number 2 laughs increduously, “You can’t do 25 pull ups!”
Guy Number 1, “Yes, I think I can.”
Guy Number 2, “You couldn’t do 25 pull ups even if I gave you a step stool and a Crossfit membership.”
Guy Number 1, “Oh yea? Wanna bet?”
Guy Number 2, “Yes. $10,000.”
Dan Foster at NRO says there two scenarios in which guys make such a bet:
The first is that the determinant of the bet is so far off (e.g., a typical bet in the questionable circles I move in would be taking an over-under on the number of games the New York Mets will win in the next ten years) that the combined chances of the bet being forgotten about, runaway inflation greatly devaluing its outcome, or one/both of the bettors coming into a great fortune in the interim are sufficiently high to make it worthwhile. The other scenario is that the person offering the bet is absolutely sure he’s correct and wants to make a point of it to the idiot doubting him. Examples of this scenario in my milieu include “Yes, David Lynch did direct Dune” and “No, you couldn’t swim the widest Manhattan-Queens span of the East River at midnight, even if I gave you a month to train and a top-flight wetsuit: You’re not a strong swimmer, it’s close to a mile wide, and it’s a tidal estuary with a shifting current that could easily carry you out to see. Besides, it’s really dirty.”
So see, I think Mitt Romney might actually be in touch with average Joes out there making ridiculous bets.
(FYI – it doesn’t always work. I recently made a late night $1,000 bet with a friend of mine – who weighs 320lbs and played offensive line in the NFL – that he couldn’t fit himself into an outdoor water tank with a 15 inch hole in the top. After ten minutes and some incredible shimmying…I was light $1,000.)
In all seriousness, I like the cajones Romney showed here. Gingrich’s appeal over Romney is about one of two things:
a.) Style. His perceived ability to take it to President Obama aggressively. To debate Obama. To be an alpha male candidate. This, versus Romney’s bland nice guy persona.
b.) He’s not a Mormon. (This increasingly appears to be an issue. I’ll write more about this later.)
Whatever Gingrich’s appeal, we know its not about conservative principles or character. So good for Romney for taking on a little alpha-male and throwing down a ten large wager on Perry.