The Political Handicapping of 'Norm' Hsu

Norman Yung Yuen Shu frog walked off to jail for 294 months, but his political handicapping remains impressive.

The scope of “Norm” Hsu’s Ponzi scheme faded in the wake of Bernie Madoff’s astonishing scam. In comparison, Norm’s become a small time cat burglar.  But let’s not forget what a prescient handicapper of political fortunes he turned out to be.

The five top recipients of Norm’s bundled donations were: Hillary Clinton, $850,000; Andrew Cuomo, $86,600; Eliot Spitzer, $72,600; Barack Obama, $72,100; and Tom Harkin, $59,800.  Why those five?

Obviously, he bet big that Hillary would be the 44th President.  Close, but no cigar.

It looks like he might have bet that New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, would be appointed by Governor Eliot “Client #9” to replace Hillary in the Senate.  Today, Governor David Paterson is being pressured by some to step aside and let Cuomo run in New York’s next gubernatorial election.  

Barack Obama was, it’s reasonable to assume, Norm’s back-up bet for President. Or, perhaps a possible VP candidate to run with Hillary.

And, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin might have been seen, by Norm, as a very possible Midwest VP candidate to bring geographical balance on a ticket headed by the Senator from New York.  (Biden was #10 on the list at $39K.)

Many questions about the Hsu episode remained unanswered.  But in retrospect, he wasn’t a bad political handicapper. Had Hillary won the Democrat nomination and Client #9 stayed at home, he might have scored big, instead of going to the big house.

Norman Yung Yuen Shu frog walked off to jail for 294 months, but his political handicapping remains impressive.

The scope of “Norm” Hsu’s Ponzi scheme faded in the wake of Bernie Madoff’s astonishing scam. In comparison, Norm’s become a small time cat burglar.  But let’s not forget what a prescient handicapper of political fortunes he turned out to be.

The five top recipients of Norm’s bundled donations were: Hillary Clinton, $850,000; Andrew Cuomo, $86,600; Eliot Spitzer, $72,600; Barack Obama, $72,100; and Tom Harkin, $59,800.  Why those five?

Obviously, he bet big that Hillary would be the 44th President.  Close, but no cigar.

It looks like he might have bet that New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, would be appointed by Governor Eliot “Client #9” to replace Hillary in the Senate.  Today, Governor David Paterson is being pressured by some to step aside and let Cuomo run in New York’s next gubernatorial election.  

Barack Obama was, it’s reasonable to assume, Norm’s back-up bet for President. Or, perhaps a possible VP candidate to run with Hillary.

And, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin might have been seen, by Norm, as a very possible Midwest VP candidate to bring geographical balance on a ticket headed by the Senator from New York.  (Biden was #10 on the list at $39K.)

Many questions about the Hsu episode remained unanswered.  But in retrospect, he wasn’t a bad political handicapper. Had Hillary won the Democrat nomination and Client #9 stayed at home, he might have scored big, instead of going to the big house.