December 16, 2011

Regarding Kathleen Parker’s Dec. 14 op-ed column, “A safe wager”:

Ms. Parker’s argument that $10,000 was “the perfect number” for Mitt Romney’s ill-fated bet because it was, among other things, “an amount he could afford to lose” was unconvincing and belied by what even Ms. Parker acknowledged was “the near unanimous verdict” that Mr. Romney is “out of touch.” Missing from her calculus was whether $10,000 is an amount the average American could afford to lose.

Mr. Romney could have avoided this brouhaha and engendered pleasant feelings by offering the same stakes that another famous wealthy businessman, C. Montgomery Burns of “The Simpsons,” has been known to put on the line when making a bet: a Coke.

Ms. Parker may think a bet of a mere dollar “silly,” but to the rest of the world a wager of no or token stakes is known as a gentlemen’s bet.

Jeffrey Sacks, Silver Spring