‘Moneyball’ politics: Bill James vs SuperPACs

- June 15th, 2012

Bill James, as Huffington Post writer Sam Stein correctly describes him,  is the high priest of baseball number-crunching. His statistics-based analyses of Major League Baseball were at the foundation of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane’s approach to building a championship team on the cheap. Beane’s experience, of course, was chronicled in the Hollywood hit Moneyball. Stein writes that James is now turning his attention to U.S. politics, which last year entered an entirely new and, if you ask me, weird era in which money is literally no object.

[Bill James] hasn’t dabbled much in politics before. But in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows for unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions, James’ analytical approach has become more relevant to the political conversation.

The Obama campaign and allied Democrats have begun preaching “Moneyball”-like theories about how to compete against the onslaught of conservative super PAC spending this election cycle. But it’s unclear whether they have time to put those ideas into practice or the ability and willingness to undertake such a dramatic shift.

That’s because much of what James has to offer candidates facing financial deficits is quirky and unconventional. Often it involves throwing the traditional campaign playbook out the window.

Read the whole piece: ‘Moneyball’ Godfather Bill James Tackles Politics In Super PAC Age.

Categories: Politics

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