Debating the dollar value of Romney’s bet as political metaphor is intellectual Play-Doh, but in the spirit of seasonal gamesmanship, my two cents: Ten thousand dollars was the perfect number. A dollar would have been silly; $10 trite. A hundred would have seemed amateurish; a thousand, too studied. At the higher end, $100,000 would have been boastful, and a million would have tied Romney to the millionaire’s club to which he does belong — but the man is not a braggart. Ergo, $10,000 was an amount he could afford to lose (the first rule of betting), and it was high enough to demonstrate his certitude.
If Romney had really wanted to punch out his only credible opponent (not Perry), he might have pointed out that only one Republican presidential candidate has supported a federal individual mandate — Gingrich.