op-ed

An update on my $100,000 Palin bet

On Monday, I gave the many critics of my unfortunate, clear-cut and unapologetic conclusion that Sarah Palin cannot defeat President Obama in 2012 the golden opportunity to put their money where their mouth is. In a column here at The Daily Caller, I offered a $1,000 bet at incredible 100-to-1 odds that Palin would not be elected president in 2012 to the first prominent conservative commentator who responded.

I predicted that no one would take me up on it because those who were claiming I was wrong were doing so as a political maneuver and not because they really thought I was incorrect in my analysis. Well, technically I was correct, although I think we do have a bet.

Immediately after the column went live, the highly passionate Palin fan website Conservatives4Palin (founded, ironically, by Palin aide Rebecca Mansour, who told me on the day Palin resigned as governor that she also knew a 2012 run was a non-starter) put up a post by Ian Lazaran “accepting” the $100,000 bet but significantly changing the conditions. “They” (I am still not 100 percent sure exactly for whom Lazaran was “accepting” the bet) only wanted the bet to take place if in fact Palin decides to run.

While this condition may seem logical at first glance, such a concession reveals a stunning lack of understanding of the original proposal. The reality is that I made the odds so lucrative because there was at least a chance she may not run. But more importantly, if Palin decides not to run, it will largely be because she realizes that she can’t win. Therefore, if she doesn’t run, that will essentially mean the same thing as if she had run and lost.

This bit of “nuance” appeared to be totally lost on the C4P people, so I decided to go ahead and change the bet to allow it to be voided if she doesn’t run for president. This of course then created a debate about what the definition of “running” is. I wanted the threshold to be her being taken off of Fox News, but I eventually decided to give C4P what they wanted and make the point of no return a full-fledged announcement. In response, I added a provision that the bet was also off if somehow Obama was not the Democratic nominee.

Then I needed to figure out who exactly was taking responsibility for the bet. This turned out to be far more difficult than I ever imagined. Even though I went to great lengths to contact Lazaran, my e-mail is extremely accessible, and the burden of contact was clearly the person/entity taking the bet. But five days after his post “accepting” the bet, I have still not heard from him.

Instead, I have been in excruciating communication with Sheya (no last name used publicly) from “Palin TV” who is apparently part of C4P. As a condition of the agreement, I wanted to know specifically who would be paying, or cashing in on, the bet. Sheya told me it would be him and Ian on behalf of C4P. I said I needed some direct contact information. Sheya gave me his and I was promised I would get Ian’s, but as of this writing, that still hasn’t happened.

I have provided all of my contact info and even went to the extraordinary length of offering information on the account where the $100,000 is (after Sheya mistakenly charged that I might not be able to pay the bet in the highly unlikely event that I lose).