Why I accepted Ziegler’s bet

While I have always known that commentators like John Ziegler twist, spin, and make stuff up, until recently I could never truly grasp it. It is mind-boggling how someone can spin their own challenge.

Last week, John Ziegler wrote an op-ed in The Daily Caller blabbering away about why he believes Governor Sarah Palin could not be elected president in 2012. To bolster his claim, he argued that those who publicly support the governor privately hold the same opinion as he does. To prove his point, he put up the following challenge:

To Nolte and all other commentators who claim I am wrong about Palin’s chances in 2012, I simply ask you to put your money where your mouth is. I am officially offering a $1,000 bet, at incredible 100-1 odds, that Palin will not be inaugurated president of the United States in January of 2013. This unbelievable $100,000 offer (along with details as to how I would pay in full with the money I had reserved for the charity offer that Keith Olbermann dodged) is available to the first prominent conservative who takes me up on it.

If I am so wrong, this is the deal of a lifetime, right? A no-brainer even. So why am I so convinced that no one will even take me up on it or that hardly any of my critics will see the obvious significance when they don’t?

As soon as that challenge was published, I sent out the following tweet.

I accept this by @TalktoZig “offering a $1,000 bet, at incredible 100-1 odds, that Palin will not be inaugurated president in 2013.”

After my tweet went out, a discussion was held among the Conservatives4Palin editors over whether the site should officially take him up on his bet. While we had no issue with accepting the challenge, the majority wanted to ignore Ziegler because the guy is an attention-seeking lunatic. For some reason, he’s convinced that just because he bombarded Governor Palin with unsolicited “advice,” he suddenly became her “advisor.” By those standards, I’m the official advisor for nearly every politician in the country (check my Twitter feed).

Ian Lazaran and I agreed to take on the bet on our own accord. Because I wasn’t available to put up the post, I asked Ian to put it up. In a post titled “We accept John Zeigler’s bet,” we publicly accepted it. Knowing with whom we were dealing, we made it clear that the bet would only be valid if Governor Palin actually runs.

Ziegler stunningly lacks any understanding of his own proposal. The entire premise of the bet was whether her supporters believed she could win. We believe that she can and we accepted the bet. We had publicly proven Ziegler wrong. To save face, he had to change the game. So he made it about the bet and the terms of it. From the moment we accepted it, he kept on emailing me, calling me, never content with one answer, always looking for five more. It seems that Ziegler didn’t even know what he wanted. For someone who wanted to prove that no one would take his bet, he seemed quite desperate to get a deal.

Ziegler claims that we accepted the bet by significantly changing the conditions. That’s not true. Nowhere in his column did Ziegler suggest that his opinion about Palin not being inaugurated in 2013 is valid even if she doesn’t run. Had he even remotely suggested it, his entire piece would have been laughable at best. There is not a single person in the world who would assume that anyone can be inaugurated president if they don’t run. Did Ziegler really expect someone to accept his bet under those circumstances? He might as well have put up a bet about whether I will be sworn in as president in January of 2013.