Trading a rumor

Posted by Dan on Sep 12th, 2008
Sep 12

Biden Intrade has a contract that pays off if Joe Biden withdraws, voluntarily or involuntarily, his Democratic VP nomination.  (This contract appeared a few days after the Palin withdrawal contract, so I suspect that someone shamed Intrade into it.)  Thursday morning I noticed that the contract had been bid up to 7.5, meaning a 7.5% chance that Biden will withdraw. 


Biden said on Wednesday:


Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States,. She is qualified to be president of the United States of America. She is easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, might’ve been a better pick than me.”


I interpreted this as a roundabout way of implying that Sarah Palin is not qualified, not because she’s a woman, but because she’s not Hillary.  And maybe Biden was sucking up to the Hillary supporters just a bit.  Apparently others interpreted this as an indication that Biden would step down, making way for Hillary to ride in on a white horse and save the election for the Democrats.  Well, of course I sold a few contracts short, but what fascinates me is that the rumor is not really about Biden.  It’s about Hillary.


Hillary looms over this election, larger than life.  When she lost the primaries, people thought she could capture the nomination with the help of the superdelegates.  People thought her supporters would do something at the convention.  Now that Obama has chosen Biden, they think that Biden might step down.  Intrade still shows Hillary with a 3% chance of winning the Presidency in November.  The recurring theme is that somehow Drama will trump Reality.  People are waiting for the writers to introduce the last-minute plot twist that will elevate Hillary to the position she rightfully deserves.

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