Q&A #2: Presidential Fisticuffs, Baseball & Election Predictions

Question:

1. Who would win in a fight at the height of their physical primes: Teddy Roosevelt, or Abraham Lincoln?
2. Who will win the NL Central this year, and who will win the World Series?
3. Who do you think will win the Democratic, and the Republican nomination in 2016, and why?
~Alex

Matt:

1. For the Lincoln v. Roosevelt fight, I’m going to assume that this is a standard boxing match (twelve three-minute rounds) using Marquess of Queensberry rules. Both contestants are in their physical primes (late 20′s for Lincoln; mid 30′s for Roosevelt) and are well-fed and well-rested.

Lincoln v. Roosevelt

At this stage in his life, Mr. Lincoln has already begun his political career in the Illinois legislature. Even though he’s basically a paper-pusher, Lincoln has previously served as a militia captain in the Black Hawk War. Although he never saw combat, we do know that Lincoln lost a wrestling match to another solider on April 22, 1832.

“Yes sir, in the days of the Black Hawk War I fought, bled and came away…If [Lewis Cass] saw any live, fighting Indians, it was more than I did; but I had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes, and although I never fainted from the loss of blood, I can truly say I was often very hungry.” – Abraham Lincoln (from an 1848 speech before Congress)

We also know that Lincoln grew up on the frontier and was exceptionally tall and strong for his time. So he was probably no slouch in a fight. We also know that he accepted a duel in 1842, choosing cavalry broadswords as the weapon for the event. His opponent (James Shields) supposedly backed down at the last minute.

Roosevelt suffered from asthma as a child, but compensated during adulthood by shrugging off bullet wounds and killing elephants. During his physical prime, Teddy was living the life of a rancher in North Dakota. According to an account on Wikipedia:

“As a deputy sheriff, Roosevelt hunted down three outlaws who stole his riverboat and were escaping north with it up the Little Missouri. Capturing them, he decided against hanging them (apparently yielding to established law procedures in place of vigilante justice), and sending his foreman back by boat, he took the thieves back overland for trial in Dickinson, guarding them forty hours without sleep and reading Tolstoy to keep himself awake.”

bull moose party

I’m not a historian, but I give the “size & strength” advantage to Lincoln, and the “fighting spirit” advantage to Roosevelt. I imagine Teddy landing a flurry of reckless body blows early in the fight, taking the wind out of the lanky Mr. Lincoln.

Abe counters with some solid hooks during rounds 3 and 4, breaking Teddy’s nose and maybe knocking out a few teeth (because who needs a mouthguard?). Roosevelt is completely unfazed by his injuries, and wins by TKO in the 7th round.

_____

2. I haven’t followed baseball very closely during the off-season, but I admit to being a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. So I’ll go ahead and “predict” that the Redbirds will win the NL Central and advance to the NLCS.

st louis cardinals

As far as the World Series goes, I think the Angels are probably the early favorites. I predict:

Angels over Tigers (4-2) in the ALCS
Braves over Cardinals (4-2) in the NLCS
Angels over Braves (4-1) in the World Series

_____

3. Back in 2008, I predicted Mitch Daniels would win the 2012 presidential election. Then, a couple days before the 2012 election, I predicted Romney would defeat Obama by a 299-239 margin in the Electoral College.

So I have a pretty abysmal track record as a political analyst. But here goes:

hillary clinton rand paul 2016

My initial thought was Hillary Clinton vs. Marco Rubio, but that just seemed too obvious. So I’ll go with Rand Paul as the come-from-behind candidate on the Republican side. Total guesswork here.

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