Conceding with Greats

November 7, 2012 by Jen

In the spirit of the yesterday’s events, I entered into a friendly wager about the outcome of the presidential election. Barack Obama would win the electoral college, I asserted, but lose the popular vote. Well, as you probably know by now, by “lose,” I meant “win by 300,000 votes.”

Also in the spirit of the day, I have just prepared a brief concession speech for my worthy opponent. By “just prepared,” of course, I mean “prepared on day one of the wager in due humility with respect to my own fallibility.”

Ahem. Proceed. This is, of course, a completely original* document written out of the great fullness of my heart.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I have just contemplated calling my worthy opponent to congratulate him on his victory. [I have since decided otherwise.]

Loss. There will be a time for such a word after all the precincts have reported. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded recounts. Yet the people have spoken.

I come to bury my unsuccessful career as a pundit, not to praise it. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. The equal of my opponent’s interpretation of statistical probabilities has not been seen in fourscore and seven years.

Now is the winter of our discontent. Join not with grief, fair listeners, do not so, to make my defeat too sudden: learn, good friends, to think our former flood of political ads a happy dream.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers who refuse to believe the numbers, we stand together on election day. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of predictors fails, when we forsake our efforts to foretell the future and break all bonds of statistical analysis: but it is not this day.

Alas, one day is far too short a time to forecast the political decisions of such excellent and whimsical citizens. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

Do not lose hope. In the end the pundits will announce that two and two make five, and you will have to believe it. It is inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demands it.

Going forward, I have a dream that you will ask not what your forecasters can do for you; you will ask what you can do for your forecasters.

Thank you, and God bless America.


*By that I mean…never mind

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