10 October 2008

Can bin Laden Win the Election for McCain?

You wouldn't immediately think that a baseball geek would have such a keen read on American politics unless you'd checked into Nate Silver's bio. That said, I shouldn't be surprised when Silver digs up another gifted writer from the baseball world to make some predictions about the late stages of the election cycle. Right?

I turn to FiveThirtyEight.com almost daily for a dose of the numbers and a good bit of accessible analysis. I've come to expect a level of insight as sharp as any on the Internet (or anywhere else, for that matter). I'm consistently impressed by Silver's summaries, and also by the road musings of cowriter Sean Quinn, who's currently on a wide-ranging, cross-country tour to take the pulse of the candidates' respective ground games. If we judge the blogger by the company he keeps (and please do--my wife is so much smarter, nicer, and prettier than I am!), then Silver is doing pretty well.

So I should not be surprised when Silver gives guest space to another quality blogger. Nevertheless, this piece from Silver cohort (and fellow baseball geek) Rany Jazayerli stuns me. If he runs a little alarmist, Jazayerli also supports his assertions with cogent historical details at every turn. In a nutshell, Jazayerli, a Muslim American, explains why Osama bin Laden has a vested interest in the outcome of this election, and how that could play as the clock ticks down. October surprise? Let's hope not. But should it come to pass, you can no longer claim to be surprised after reading Jazayerli's post.