If you’ve never been to South Carolina, here’s a quick tip: Don’t be a democrat.
I covered the slot gacor elections on Tuesday, live at the Democrat’s campaign headquarters, across the street from the Capitol. Unlike the elephants, who spread all over town, the democrats all meet under a single roof at the Clarion hotel. The building used to be the headquarters of General Sherman, right after he burned the old Capitol to the ground.
It hasn’t hosted a winner since.
The AP called the Governor’s race for the incumbant Republican at about 9:30. Minutes later I went into the men’s room and found a grown man sobbing, wailing, in one of the stalls. I went back to the ballroom where the DJ had stopped the music and no one was talking except for the hushed mumbles of people who felt they really SHOULDN’T be talking.
The thing is, their candidate was trailing by 25 points in every poll for months before the ballots were cast. Turnout was huge. And their guy lost by only 10. Were they really that surprised? Did they really think they’d win?
State of Denial indeed.
Sometimes our best laid plans come crashing down. It doesn’t hurt to lose a lark, but it sucks when a moron makes the right call, by accident, of course.
Last Wednesday I was in a funky mood for poker, I’d just driven my car into oncoming traffic after getting some life changing news. At one point Otis took me outside to say, “You should just go home man, the tilt is just radiating from your body.”
For those of you who don’t already know, I’ll post the tilting news in due course.
But back to the game…
I’m there with three good players, Otis, Blood, and theMark. There rest are totally beatable. Just not by me.
I played one hand against a guy who owns a pizza joint and goaded him into taking a $600 pot. I had AQc on the button. He raised from early position from $2 to $12. Four pepole called. I figured the early position 6x raise stinks of middle pocket pair and decide I want to race him with position, meaning win the hand with my cards or any scare card that DOES come. I make it $40 to go. He smooth calls.
The flop is Q, 8, 3 rainbow and he bets out about 3/4 pot.
Now he’s deep in the tank. For like 10 minutes. It’s clear my initial read was correct and he’s dominated with his pocket pair.
So I take the cards in front of me, start singing like the human beat box (of “The Fat Boys” fame..)
I’m the human beat box
So let it be known
That I’m the kind of Rock
On the microphone
Then I switch to the Eddie Murphy rap from the “Golden Child.”
Dub-Dub-Dub-Double me uuuuup!
Pizza Man makes the call. Hehas pocket 9s. I grab my iPod and start to walk out of the room. “Nice Call,” I said.
The turn is a jack. I’m already out of the room.
The river is a 10.
I wasn’t there to see him rake the pot.
A week before the elections, I followed the Democratic candidate to the campus of USC Upstate. The State Senator is an imposing man, nearly my height with a full head of white hair. He’s way behind in the polls and getting outspent by a 10-to-1 margin, but it’s clear he feels comfortable right now. Some candidates are best at a lectern, some on TV, and this guy is best while surrounded by a crowd of strangers.
Lucky him. In this race, with this candidate, everyone is a stranger. He was making his only campaign stop this Wednesday, the last televised debate was later that night in Columbia. He came to the college because public school funding was the cornerstone of his entire campaign, and these were “his” people.
I got an idea for a neat story.
The room our cadidate used was at the to top of the student center. It’s as big as your living room and all the kids, eligible voters by the way, had to walk right through to get into the building as they came up the stairs. The Democrat had his signs posted all around the room. Three TV cameras followed him as he shook hands and kissed babes…and babies.
We took our camera to the top of the stairs and talked to the students themselves. I asked 2 set up questions:
Are you from South Carolina?
Are you registered to vote?
Surprisingly, all of the first 30 people could answer “yes” to those questions.
Now, here’s question number 3:
Who’s running for governor?
Mind you, one of the candidates is flanked by 100 signs with his name on them, and he’s standing 4 feet away. The election, at this point, is 6 days away.
Out of 30 students… eligible voters:
Two could name both candidates.
Four more could name the incumbant Governor.
Twenty-four could not name either one.
We’re back at the Spring Hotel and I’ve flopped an OESD. I called a preflop raise with 57 offsuit and hit. I’d never played with the preflop raiser before, but he was tight and passive. He followed through post flop with a half-pot bet. I raised his bet plus the pot. He called off his entire stack with ace high.
It held up.
Later I said I was surprised he could make such a call. It was ballsy, but perhaps he reads me awfully well, perhaps my 14 outs (twice) weren’t too scary.
“I heard you like to bully people, so I decided when I sat down that I’d never fold to you.”
Sweet merciful Cheeto. That’s a stupid thing to say. It would be even stupider if he backed it up. Sadly, Otis busted the douchebag before I ever got the chance.
US VS. THEM AND THE DESTRUCTIVE (AWESOME) POWER THEY HAVE
In the newsroom I used to have this joke about the morons who call the station.
“Thank God for the idiots, what would we cover without them!”
It’s true, as you know, that we dumb things down on air. I did a story one morning about, “HOW TO PUT A RETURN ADDRESS ON A PACKAGE.” How stupid is that?
We kick it off each night with a few shootings and stabbings, maybe a meth bust, and a car crash. If there’s a lot of rain we’ll put a weathergirl outside to tell you it’s raining… and watch out for areas that are really, really, really, full of water.
A good friend of mine, who passed away this year, used to follow every editorial meeting with this summary, “It’s hot, it’s cold, college is expensive, and don’t eat fatty foods.”
I could never say it better.
Of course the real truth is we pander to the lowest common denomonator for two big reasons:
- It’s common and, therefore, most likely to cast the biggest net.
- It’s very easy to do. Actual reporting is really hard work.
Stupid people are cruel and dangerous and, natch, they have no idea why.
I stepped outside the Democratic “victory” party for some “fresh air” and there was an older couple standing in the door. The woman turned to another guy just walking in and said, “Have you heard anything new? Are we still hanging in there?”
I looked up to the woman and told her the news, “It’s over. The AP already called the race. My station’s probably aired it already too.”
She blew up. Oddly enough, she blew up at me.
I think she was channeling Nancy Kerrigan.
“Why,” she kept screaming, “would anyone be so stupid?”
And now we get to the friggin’ point.
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES
Honestly folks, who puts a calling station all-in, when you only have a freakin’ draw? That ain’t smart. Sure, he was stupid for calling, but I KNEW he was stupid and, for some reason, I decided to play HIS way.
The whole spectrum of idiotic chat on POKER STARS, is fueled by the stupidity of the target AND the typist as well.
Likewise, an ambitious reporter does something intelligent and forces everyone to catch up, or watch something else. My thinking is most people are smarter than we give them credit for, but we keep treating them like morons and they’re willing to play along.
My boss hates real reporting. He’ll probably fire me for trying to do it. C’est la vie.
MOM, PLEASE DO NOT CALL ME TO ASK IF I’M ABOUT TO LOSE MY JOB. SHEEESH! ALL IS WELL.
The Democratic screamers and criers were furious at the stupidity of South Carolina voters. To them it’s not important that their opponent had a 15 to 1 financial advantage after the June primary. Nor is it important that they were running a total unknown, who had neve run statewide against a popular incumbant.
Hell, I’m the political reporter responsible for covering their guy, and I met him FOR THE FIRST TIME 5 weeks before the election. He was underfunded and anonymous. I thought he AND his opponent were genuinely decent men, something I can very rarely say. But this guy never had a chance.
It makes the Democrats in our state feel better if they call the people stupid.
Perhaps the people are. But they’re powerful enough to make a fool outta you.