Jul 8, 2008

Against the odds

McCain is a high-stakes craps player who loves the adrenalised rush of the game, according to Time. Obama is a low-stakes poker player who sizes up his odds methodically and rarely loses money.
"Aides say McCain tends to play for a few thousand dollars at a time and avoids taking markers, or loans, from the casinos. 'He never, ever plays on the house,' says Mark Salter, a McCain adviser. The goal, say several people familiar with his habit, is never financial. He loves the thrill of winning and the camaraderie at the table.... Obama always had his head in the game. He studied the cards as closely as he would an eleventh-hour amendment to a bill. The odds were religion to him. Only rarely did he bluff."
Sounds about right. McCain is the one who has gambled big — staking his claims to the presidency to a single issue, Iraq. Obama has been playing a longer game — betting on this being as a 'change' election from the get go. There's no question who I'd want playing from my pot: Obama. And no question who I'd prefer to play with: McCain. (Former state senator Larry Walsh once slammed down his cards on Obama, complaining, "Doggone it, Barack, if you were more liberal in your card-playing and more conservative in your politics, you and I would get along much better").

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