# Sarah Palin, 14% chance of Presidency 2009-2013?

Seems like there’s a 14% chance that if the Republicans keep the White House this year that Sarah Palin will be President of the United States in the interval 2009-2013. Of course, you could modulate the probability up or down based on plugging in more priors into the model, but I think it gives a rough qualitative sense.

1. #1 eddie
August 30, 2008

Stop making eyes at her 6mth old.

2. #2 Ross
August 30, 2008

“you could modulate the probability up or down based on plugging in more priors”

The risk of a president being murdered is so much higher than for a random member of the public that I think it would need to be included in any calculation. Around 7% or presidential terms feature an assasination.

3. #3 Mike Keesey
August 30, 2008

The risk of a president being murdered is so much higher than for a random member of the public

Is that actually true? The rest of us don’t have the Secret Service. (And neither did Lincoln or McKinley.)

Even if it is true, the risk of a president dying of malnutrition, exposure, treatable diseases, etc. is much, much lower than for the average member of the public.

4. #4 gcochran
August 30, 2008

Yes, Presidents routinely escape the recurrent famines sweeping over North America.

August 30, 2008

This is way wrong. Everyone knows that the presidency ages a person by 20 years. McCain would not be 80 at the end of an 8 year term. He’ll be 100 (in president years, like dog years).

6. #6 razib
August 30, 2008

good point. look at the life expectancies after the presidency of our recent ones; e.g., nixon, ford, carter, reagen and g hw bush. ðŸ™‚

August 30, 2008

I was actually thinking about looking that up.

8. #8 dev
August 30, 2008

Re risk of presidential assassination: The US Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for protecting the president in 1902 (after McKinley was assassinated). There have been 16 assassination attempts against the 18 presidents since then, of which one was successful (Kennedy), two others resulted in the president being wounded but surviving (Theodore Roosevelt and Reagan), and three others involved shots being fired in close proximity to the president (FDR, Truman, and Ford).

So I think you could easily add a few per cent chance of a given president being killed or seriously incapacitated by an assassination attempt during his/her term in office. This is easily an order of magnitude or more than similar probabilities for the average US citizen (based on FBI statistics on murder, etc.).

9. #9 dev
August 30, 2008

Now that I think about it, if you add in the probability of McCain being assassinated or seriously incapacitated by an assassination attempt, the odds of Palin becoming president would probably be equal to or greater than the odds in Russian roulette — which I guess gives some idea as to McCain’s appetite for risk.

10. #10 Phiz
August 31, 2008

The most important prior of course is current health. Many of the people who are within 4 years of death have one foot in the grave already because of heart disease, etc. I would expect a better outlook for someone as robust and sprightly (relatively speaking) as McCain.

11. #11 Jason Malloy
September 2, 2008

you could modulate the probability up or down based on plugging in more priors

Throw in the other John Sidneys and it might be a wash.

JSM II: 70
JSM I: 61