Meanwhile at The Corner

September 6, 2008

I read the Corner daily to see what lunatics are saying about American politics.  I see that recently they’ve been groping toward understanding the Palin choice as rational, although the mathematical rigor of my earlier post today has so far eluded them.

Specifically, they are struggling for a metaphor. Is it:

– a long bomb?
– a hail Mary?
– a West Coast Offense?

No on all counts.  The West Coast Offense is something you do for the entire game: for it to be successful, it has to increase the expected score for your team when used over an entire game.  But McCain would never have picked Palin if he had not been behind.  Nor is it a long bomb, which is just a high reward play with a low chance of success taken at any point in the game; that is analogous to Obama contesting North Carolina.  Nor is it a hail Mary, which is a desperation play at the last second, an extreme long bomb as time runs out; that’s McCain, on the election day eve, calling Obama an ‘uppity Negro’ and hoping for a miracle.

The appropriate football analogy is this: your team is down fourteen points with five minutes left in the game, so you start passing on every down.  This might lead to disaster: two INTs returned for touchdowns and you lose by 28.  It probably will do worse than your typical game plan – if it did better, you would have been doing it from the beginning.  But it gives you a nonzero chance of winning the game.

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One Response to “Meanwhile at The Corner”


  1. […] it wasn’t the right metaphor for picking Palin as a running mate, as explained by Frederick here). Webber never thought to himself “Sure we don’t have any time outs left, but I’m […]


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