(Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer/Getty/Drew Angerer/Mario Anzuoni/Getty/123dartist/Salon)
The circus surrounding Donald Trump continues to reach new moments of peak insanity. The most recent, of course, came on Wednesday, amidst Trump’s cabinet confirmation hearings, when the president-elect gave his first press conference since July. In it, the president-elect refused to answer questions from CNN, calling the channel “fake news”; he sort-of answered a question about a tweet likening America to Nazi Germany; and he denied the existence of videos involving him, Russian prostitutes, and a certain golden sexual fetish. (He’s a germaphobe.)
In America, such days are not without levity (as Twitter will attest), but what levity there is is weighted, nervous, of the gallows. Outside America, in a Dublin bookmaker’s office, such levity is more unbound.
“It’s a nice day for Mr. Trump, isn’t it?” Paddy Power said with a wry Irish chuckle. Power is the head of marketing for Paddy Power (Paddy’s father, David Power, was among its founders), Ireland’s biggest and most, ahem, adventurous bookmaker. There’s next to nothing for which Paddy Power won’t draw up an odds sheet, be it endangered species’ population decline (in 2011, they gave 13-to-8 odds — meaning that if you bet $8 you could win $13 — that the number of polar bears would dip between 15,000 to 20,000 by 2013) or murder trials (7-to-4 for a guilty verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial). These markets are as much for publicity as for action — it projects an irreverent company with a sardonic sense of humor.
So, when a whiff of prostitutes and asparagus traveled across the pond, you can bet that Paddy Power had some fun. The bookmakers built odds (20-to-1) that Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration would not take place, with the natural parlay of “odds of 10-to-1 for the footage to appear on RedTube,” per a press release, which went on to exclaim, “Naughty.”
Foreign bookmakers likely aren’t expert prognosticators of American politics. After all, Paddy Power was among those left “with some seriously expensive egg” on their face after Hillary Clinton won the election. But at this point, who truly knows what’s on America’s political horizon? In the interest of getting an objective outsider’s take on what’s to come, we asked Paddy Power for a few more political markets.
Scandal and age will play a big role in which cabinet member will get the boot first
Wilbur Ross, Trump’s secretary of commerce pick, has previously worked as an American investor and banker, making him one of the most qualified members of Trump’s cabinet for the post he is tasked with heading. Power expects Ross to be the first to leave Trump’s administration.
“Wilbur Ross is purely an age thing,” Power explained. “He’s 79, so we reckon he won’t be there for too much longer. Age might get the better of him or he might just retire.”
Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon are next most likely to go first, both with 12-to-1 odds. The reasoning behind Conway is simply pragmatic: there’s been high turnover in Trump’s campaign manager position. The Paddy Power bookmakers foresee scandal around Bannon, however. “There will be a storm to be weathered at some point definitely,” Power said of the former Breitbart leader and current Trump strategist, adding that it will probably come “sooner rather than later. I’m not sure what it’s going to be, but we’re almost certain there will be one.”
The same logic was applied to the next few names on the list. The way the Senate grilled attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, about his prosecutorial record with the KKK made Paddy Power nervous. As did former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s connections to Russia. “It’s like a James Bond movie,” Power said. “He could be the middleman, the one to take the fall. But 16-to-1’s actually pretty good odds on him for that reason.”
As for the rest of Trump’s cabinet picks, Power said, “This market is a bit of a lick your finger and hold it in the air type of market, because it’s guess work really on what could happen. A bit of cynicism as well in terms of what might happen. Nobody really knows anything yet, so it’s open book.”
But whoever is first to go is likely to go quickly. Paddy Power give 1-3 odds (a 75 percent likelihood) that one of Trump’s confirmed cabinet members will stand down in 2017. Ultimately, Power thinks the person who leaves first will be the first to upset the Don. “From an outsider looking in, all these cabinet members need to be worried about enraging their great leader, because we know he could fly off the handle pretty easily.”
This article was sourced from http://newsxlive.com