LAS VEGAS – If you just can’t avoid all the political noise coming out of Washington, D.C., these days, then perhaps you can at least be entertained by it. That’s what the folks at BetOnline.com are thinking, as the website posted odds on who will be the next FBI director, in the acrimonious wake of President Donald Trump firing James Comey on Tuesday.
Several news operations, including NBC and Bloomberg News, reported Thursday that Trump was considering Mike Rogers, the former Michigan Republican congressman who served in the House of Representatives from 2001-2015. That squared with BetOnline’s early odds of Rogers as the 5/1 co-favorite, along with current Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.
Rogers makes sense as a betting favorite, as he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and was an FBI agent.
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, would certainly draw support from red-meat Republicans for his role in multiple House hearings, most notably related to the investigation of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Gowdy chaired the Benghazi committee, which ultimately uncovered Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
However, New York media outlets were also speculating on Ray Kelly as the next FBI director, and bettors at the offshore sportsbook – you can’t bet on such matters here in the United States, even in Nevada – reacted swiftly. Kelly, whose resume includes 14 years as New York City’s police commissioner (1992-94, 2002-13), was on the rise in BetOnline’s odds, starting at 6/1 behind Rogers and Gowdy before moving into the favorite’s role at 4.5/1.
Andrew McCabe, now the acting FBI director, is also among those with the shortest odds, at 10/1.
BetOnline’s list also included a host of more well-known names, some serious contenders, others perhaps not so much. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was at 16/1, and Jared Kushner – Trump’s son-in-law – was at 14/1.
Among the longer and perhaps even outlandish shots: three of Trump’s children, with Ivanka and Donald Jr. both at 33/1 and Eric at 50/1; former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly (33/1); and actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (50/1).
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers, a partner site owned by Tribune. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.