The joy of quitting

The governor of New York faces an interesting choice.

He can do the natural thing, the thing with momentum, the thing he's been trained to do his entire life: run for a full term. That involves raising a lot of money, living on the road, compromising a lot to gain support and almost certainly losing, probably in the primary.

Or, he can quit. He can win the embrace of his party, of power brokers and his family by quitting now, as opposed to losing later.

It's hard to see a better illustration of the Dip. In elections, you win or you lose. He's almost certain to lose. The dip is deep and long and essentially unsurvivable. If he quits now, anoints an electable successor, acts as a power broker and walks away while he can, he gets to choose his next life. If he runs and wins, that's terrific. But if he runs and loses… not so good.

I can understand why it's hard for him to quit. It's unnatural. But that doesn't mean that he (and the rest of us) can't profit from deciding in advance when to quit (before the market decides for us).

[This video of Richard Nixon doing a sound check before his resignation captures the freedom he felt once he decided that he was truly stuck in the Dip. After the decision, going down the path is the easy part.]