Looking on the bright side of defeat

WHEN I walked into the office this morning, a member of staff’s first words to me were: “You’re wrong.”

I knew exactly what he meant. “I hope so,” I replied. “But I don’t think so.”

He was talking about the US elections, of course, and my prediction that McCain will win. It’s a bit like the 1990 World Cup, when I bet a fiver on Brazil beating Scotland 1-0 in the finals. And before any slavering cybernats start castigating me for being unpatriotic, it wasn’t like that; I had also put a fiver on Scotland to win 1-0, but even though I knew as much about football then as I do now, I knew enough to know that a Brazil win was more likely. All I wanted to do was provide for a modest consolation in the event of Scotland getting gubbed. And so it transpired.

I walked into the bookies in Paisley the next day to collect my winnings, to be met with howls of good-humoured derision by the women behind the counter, one of whom cried: “Oh, here comes Judas to collect his thirty pieces of silver!” (I had placed a fiver bet at odds of 6/1, earning a payout of £30.)

Any road oop, in the same way, I hope that the small amount of bitter satisfaction at having been right will serve as a modicum of consolation after Obama concedes on November 5.



Filed under Uncategorized, United States

9 responses to “Looking on the bright side of defeat

  1. I bet that Obama would win the Democratic nomination before he’d won a Primary. They chap I bet against is a bit like you – he too can bring himself to believe he can win the Presidency – so I doubled up.

    My new bet is for an Obama landslide. My winnings would be 20 pints of lager, or the equivalent, so I’m looking forward to him either paying for a very drunken night or me paying for one.

    A one state win would do for me politically, but not for my bet, but I’ll smile as I pay for drink after drink if Obama wins, even by just one electoral college vote.

    I still say Obama by a landslide though.

    I’m watching the PBS Frontline documentary on the history of the election as I tip-tap this: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/video/flv/generic.html?s=frol02p48c&continuous=1

  2. LM – what’s a landslide for the purposes of your bet? All the swing states? Half of them? 53% of the popular vote? 300+ electoral votes?

  3. James

    I reckon you really want Obama to win (obviously) but inevitably hope McCain does (although behind in the polls) as that would mean the encumbants stay in office despite the economic conditions, therefore making it more hopeful of a Labour fourth term over here.
    Get my drift?

  4. Adam

    Its all over, Obama will win and I speak as a McCain true-believer. The polling deficits McCain in the swing states are too large to be off-set by the Bradley effect, so you can relax. Its in the bag. Unfortunately…

  5. braddogley

    I think Obama will win because I don’t think the call and response to the religious right will be enough for McCain this year. People are concerned with their jobs and homes and McCain has not seemed to offer a viable alternative.

    However, I think you’re just infected with that Scottish negativity (I am the same) where you are afraid to sound confident of an outcome. Primarily because it matters so much to you.

    Maybe I should try psychoanalysis as a career………or maybe not.

    My belief in Obama reall stems from his campaign. I am reminded of the best of Clinton’s 1992 and Labour’s 1997 campaigns with the positivity he has espoused. I also think the age of Reagan / Thatcher conservatism is over. Obama is in many ways feeding and riding this leftward journey.

    I think an electoral college landslide on 52-48, based on him taking some of Bush’s states from 2004.

    PS: I always bet against what i want to happen on the “rare” occasions I gamble. Although I still lose.

  6. braddogley


    This site is pretty good on the stats behind the election.

  7. El Toro

    What is it with Labour and sums?

    A fiver bet at 6-1 would of course mean collecting £35! Winnings plus stake.

    I’ll give you credit for knocking off the betting tax though. LOL

  8. Simon

    I often back my team to lose – much to the derision of my friends. As my team is Swindon, this can be quite profitable, but I only do it for the small consolation the cash brings – I’d rather have the win.

    For the same reason, I’m tempted to back a McCain victory!

  9. I think you are calling the US election result all wrong. “It’s the economy – again – stupid.”

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