In last night's debate, Mitt Romney bet $10,000 that he was right and Rick Perry was wrong. Bad idea if you want to connect with the average voter.
With median household income at $50K per year, Mitt just bet 20% of that like it was nothing. If it was a rhetorical bet, why not bet a million dollars? If it was a real bet, why not $100? It shows that he doesn't seem to appreciate that $10,000 is that grey area where it's hard for an AVERAGE person to figure out if he's serious or not about the cash.
I know this is the time of year where car companies like to pretend that a husband will buy a car for his wife, but if you are making $50,000 per year, you do not consent to spend $10,000 of your household's money without consulting your wife first. I'm not sure why Perry didn't mention that. It had to be in the back of his mind when he mentioned that he wasn't in the betting business. Here is the major problem with the Republican field: It's way to masculine. There's a sense of one-upmanship when it comes to being the most macho. If Perry were a Democrat, then he could have said that $10K was real money in his house, and he'd be sleeping on the couch if he didn't run it past his wife first. The Democrats would accept that - the Republicans would call that being pussy whipped. Negotiating the price down to something that would have been realistic ($20, for example) would have been unmanly. Unfortunately, the Republican base appears to want to elect the Marlboro Man, and it doesn't appear that anyone can set up to that ideal. The only one who came close was an actor, after all.