July 4th, 2020
The other day my best friend Dan and I were shooting the breeze in his backyard over a few beers, discussing the state of the nation. America now has a dysfunctional federal government, a tanking economy, the Covid-19 pandemic and, of course, an amoral lunatic for a President who has abdicated all responsibility for any of it. Dan presented me with a thesis that after losing the election there’s an excellent chance that Trump is going to try and leave the United States to avoid prosecution for the scandals that we know about and undoubtedly a few that have yet come to light. He made his case well and, all beers considered, I had to agree that only a fool would stick around to face the avalanche of criminal prosecutions and lawsuits headed his way. What newly appointed Attorney General wouldn’t have multiple sealed indictments ready to go at 12:01 pm on January 20th? If Kamala Harris was AG, she’d probably have at least a half dozen, teed up and ready to go the minute President Biden took office.
“But where could he go?” I asked.
After more beer and research, we realized that #TrumpForce1, the Trump organization’s 757, could probably be fueled up and ready to get out of Dodge right after the inauguration. Even with a 757’s range it would be unlikely that he could land and refuel anywhere that might not want to prevent him from taking off again, so places like, England, Spain, France, Germany and so on might not be good stopping places. Would he flee south to Brazil? Unlikely, given that Bolsonaro won’t be in charge much longer as his approval rating is tanking at around 20%. The Philippines? Duarte isn’t his friend and imagine #IMPOTUS45 trying to live on the food. Would he try and seek asylum in Canada? We cracked up.
The most likely answer? Russia, of course. We reached out to a pilot friend of ours who flies 757’s and he verified that Trump’s jet could make it to St. Petersburg, if there were not too much cargo or too many passengers. “It really wouldn’t be a problem to get the plane to Russia,” he said.
Dan then said, “We should get odds from a bookmaker in England, they will give you odds on anything. Want to bet on The Oscars, a political convention? Who is the next president? They probably have lines on all of these things. We should get a betting line on Trump taking a runner.” He went on to explain that it would be the creation of a new metric to measure Trump’s presidency, that being “what are the odds that he would flee the country?” No one is as concerned about probability outcomes as a bookmaker who has money on the line, so we thought that it would be a natural, well considered risk index.
For most people, day drinking plans would end there. But Dan’s birthday was a week away and I devised a plan for a nice agitprop birthday present that would keep on giving. I reached out via Twitter to the @help accounts for all of the UK bookmakers I could find, asking if they would give me odds on Trump fleeing the country to Russia after he leaves office. After a few inquiries, I found interested parties at one of England’s largest, online bookmakers. They agreed to take the action and posted the bet, "Trump to be in Russia on 1st Feb 2021" on their websites with odds at 50-to-1.
Now the game is on and it’s getting interesting. One bookmaker tweeted out an announcement that they were taking bets at “50:1 that @realDonaldTrump is in Russia on 1st Feb 2021,” and almost immediately a professional gambler and freelance journalist specializing on political betting re-tweeted it, commenting “Don't tempt me 😂!” Others commented that they were in for a few pounds. We let some UK friends know and within 24 hours, the wager took on a life of its own. Within 48 hours, Ladbroke’s had to reconsider their offered odds and tightened up the bet at 33-to-1, a 33% increase in their belief that Trump was going to try and flee the US.
Dan loved his birthday gift and we both feel that this it’s one that will keep on giving clear through to the election and right up to Feb 1, 2021. It’s become apparent that the bookmaker’s odds will change, likely getting tighter and indicating that it’s more probable that Trump will flee the country to Russia after the inauguration. As more bettors take part in the wager it’ll give us the opportunity to reply whenever it ever seems appropriate on Twitter or other platforms with something like:
“Listed @ 33/1 now, better get in while the getting's good. I don't think he'll get landing rights for #TrumpForce1 anywhere else if he's fleeing under indictment. #willtrumprun #willheflee #trumprunning2021”
The reply tweets almost write themselves.
So, the end result of a few six-packs of beer between two good friends is that there’s a published, online index as to whether the 45th President is going to flee the country. The bookmakers feel the likelihood is increasing and, as this election cycle progresses, we do as well. It’s becoming apparent that the question isn’t is Trump running in 2020, but if he’s really RUNNING in 2021.
We can only wonder now if POTUS 45 will leave Ivanka, Jared, Donald Jr and Eric on the tarmac...
Here’s a few links to where the bet is available:
After another round of day-drinking, here are a few appropriate #hashtags we came up with: