Obama Plays Poker? McCain Draws New Cards

Actually, in real life, he does, but I am really sick of the silly "Obama plays poker" arguments regarding politics. Obama is playing politics, not poker, and quite well. Here is an example:

A reader e-mailed me explaining the choice this way: Obama plays poker, McCain plays craps. Poker relies on a steady understanding of the probabilities and the willingness to bet when you have a good hand. Craps requires the willingness to bet and bet big, even though you know the house is against you.

In politics, no one is going to fold before election day. And in terms of issues, you won't know who won the hand until election day. It turns out, imo, that Obama was dealt a sweet political hand - George W. Bush, the worst President in history. And now he is playing the hand by the book (Biden as VP, hammering on Bush's Third Term, etc.) There is no poker involved. As for McCain, he has a lousy hand and is drawing new cards (the Palin pick), playing draw poker, not craps. (Oh no, now I am doing it.)

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:32:17 AM EST

    The Democrats had a royal flush (5.00 / 10) (#2)
    by myiq2xu on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:32:17 AM EST
    but they threw away the queen

    But do ya know who'll decide the (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by TheJoker on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:35:22 AM EST
    election? Me!!  Heeheee! ;)

    You guys are mighty funny today (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:37:38 AM EST
    Ahhhhh, yes!! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:37:38 AM EST
    You nailed it. By the way, is there a JOKER?? ARE THERE WILD CARDS?

    As long as he doesn't go bowling again (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:36:34 AM EST

    How about a basketball (none / 0) (#11)
    by BernieO on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:40:59 AM EST
    competition with Palin? He should definitely avoid bowling against her, though. I grew up in a small town and bowling was a common activity.

    I have a friend who is living in the Czech Republic and he says they are big on bowling there, so Palin could use this when negotiating with them about the missile defense shield. And both she and Obama could play basketball in China. Wonder if either plays ping-pong?


    maybe not (none / 0) (#30)
    by ccpup on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:10:01 AM EST
    She was the point guard on their State Championship winning basketball team.  Although I'm no expert, that seems like it could be a much different experience than Obama's "shootin' hoops".

    What was Bush playing (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:37:13 AM EST
    Crazy 8s?

    Go Fish (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:43:19 AM EST
    All of us.......Go Fish, he isn't giving us a fish to feed us for a day, not even a kipper or a sardine ;)  He has stopped requiring people on the gulf coast to fish on hurricane days though, then you get a three day break before getting back to fishing again and no complaining because then it is even easier.  You can do it in your livingroom.

    War (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by cmugirl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:48:05 AM EST

    I think McCain wants to play Minesweeper!!! (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:58:48 AM EST
    Militarytracy where the f*c* have you (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:48:34 AM EST
    been? I've missed ya!

    Son had a surgery (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:49:55 AM EST
    Just got home last night.

    Ahh well I wish you and your family (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:55:58 AM EST

    I prefer to think of American politics (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:39:41 AM EST
    as a game of table tennis. Eventually, the Chinese are gonna win.

    The most apt game anaology.... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:41:44 AM EST
    is Russian Roulette, except Obama and McCain have the gun to the temple of the Republic.

    Thank God we have more than one brain (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:44:08 AM EST
    around here.

    Hmm ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:06:25 AM EST
    sometimes I wonder.



    Problem-solving MO (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by bjorn on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:01:40 AM EST
    John McCain is what Kathy Kolbe calls a Quick Start.  His problem solving style is more improvisational than Obama, who is probably more a Fact Finder.  One method is not better than the other, but a Quick Start does need so surround himself with Fact Finders to moderate his shoot from the hip style, and a Fact Finder needs Quick Starts to help him from getting analysis paralysis and never taking action.  I think it is interesting to see the different problem solving tendencies in the candidates and to see if they pick people that balance their strengths out or pick people with the same MO as them - which could be a problem.  

    These labels fit sowmewhat nicely with the difference between a poker player and a craps player.

    Well... (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by EL seattle on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:24:55 AM EST
    Regardless of whether Obama and McCain are playing poker or craps, it's now the fourth quarter.  If Obama can make all the the shots he can from three-point range, he'll be in great shape.  But what if McCain pulls off a Triple Lindy?  That could mean extra innings...

    But they did try to get Hillary to fold (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 04:50:08 PM EST
    Gee I am not usually in the habit of disagreeing with BTD but it is precisely because most democratic leaders and Obama and the MSM were trying to get Hillary to fold that many Hillary supporters are so pissed. At no point (in the land of the undemocratically selected super delegates) did Obama have the election sewn up. In fact I would argue that only reason his bacon was saved was that he could roll out super delegates in those last months of the primaries where Hillary was kicking his a$$ and have something to talk about other than explaining his losses. In fact I would argue that the supers failed to do what they were in theory put in place to do and made Hillary the top of the ticket and Obama her VP-that would have been an unbeatable combination and we would not now be facing the fact that McCain and Obama are dead even.

    Palin is a masterful choice (assuming of course she is good on her feet). The McCain ticket is as much or maybe more a ticket of change and reform now as the Obama ticket so say goodbye to the blue collar Reagan democrats -they have somewhere to go. And the sad assumption that women to whom abortion is a major issue cannot support a woman candidate that does not is the ultimate in miscalculations.

    Amen on the throwing away of the queen (none / 0) (#4)
    by athyrio on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:36:25 AM EST
    and God only knows how this will play out..Remember the 527's have yet to fire their shots and I bet there are plenty...when do they usually do their dirty work...at what point in time?? anyone know??

    I have missed that full-court press entertainment (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:36:27 AM EST
    that is you ;)  Set'em straight, there is no point in waiting ;)

    Bill Clinton plays ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:55:21 AM EST

    Does that mean he likes to "shoot the moon"?

    Or that he knows when to play a "trump card"?


    This all reminds me of a stupid argument that Dick Morris presented in which he claimed that Condi Rice's skill in playing the piano proved she'd make a good president.

    McCain (none / 0) (#19)
    by TomStewart on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:55:47 AM EST
    plays like a guy who knows it's his last chip and he has to broke for broke or fold.

    Obama tries to plays careful and smart, but it's either too smart or not smart enough (I'd use not picking Hillary as an example of either).

    The only way any us us will know which way is right will be Nov 5th. Until then it'll all endless blather and belly scratching.

    but fun...

    Naw (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:01:00 AM EST
    I consider it a chess game. If Obama had such a "sweet deal" he would be doing better in the polls. Who is thinking 2 steps ahead of their opponent? This week it looks like McCain was with the Palin pick. Next week who knows?

    I wish American politics was like chess ... (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:02:47 AM EST
    more like checkers.

    You get to the end and they King you.


    If it is indeed Sen. Obama playing (none / 0) (#40)
    by zfran on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 04:09:05 PM EST
    poker, he's not very good at it. Sorry, BTD. He has shown his poker face too many times to be believed. If he's holding anything back with his not only hand he is holding but the poker faces he shows us, then I have yet to see his ace in the hole. If he shows us his broad smile while he's  explaining his various flips and many don't see evidence of what he's telling us, his poker hand has lost. If we are to judge reactions to situations, then his playing ability is not very effective. Don't know if McCain is a better player, but right now, his poker face is better!

    McCain actually had a decent hand (none / 0) (#24)
    by AF on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:02:31 AM EST
    With Iraq going better, Georgia in the news, and his "not ready" line working.

    He had a 17 in blackjack with the dealer showing 9, and decided to hit.

    Heh (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:03:17 AM EST
    Now make a football analogy.

    ten minutes left (none / 0) (#29)
    by AF on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:07:01 AM EST
    Down by 2, 4th and 10 from the his own 30 yard line, he decides to go for it.

    Ok now a cricket analogy! N/T (none / 0) (#42)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 05:25:42 PM EST
    Jiminy Cricket? (none / 0) (#44)
    by lambert on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:03:02 PM EST
    When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires will come to you

    If your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme
    When you wish upon a star as dreamers do

    (Fate is kind, she brings to those who love
    The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing)

    Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you thru
    When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true


    Yeah but unfortunately in Iraq (none / 0) (#43)
    by john horse on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 06:53:30 PM EST
    McCain just didn't "know when to fold 'em" and "when to walk away" because every gambler "knows the secret to survivin is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep".

    Well. . . (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:05:55 AM EST
    Casino Dealer: 17.
    Number Two: Hit me.
    Casino Dealer: You have 17, sir.
    Number Two: I like to live dangerously.
    Casino Dealer: [Hit for four] :21. Very good, sir.
    [to Austin]
    Casino Dealer: :5.
    Austin Powers: I'll stay.
    Casino Dealer: I suggest you hit, sir.
    Austin Powers: I also like to live dangerously.
    Casino Dealer: 20 beat your 5 sir. I'm sorry, sir.
    Austin Powers: Well I must admit, cards aren't my bag, baby.

    I know nothing of football (none / 0) (#32)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:33:03 AM EST
    but this is like a soccer game, how has the ball.  Who drives the conversation.  I think up to now the RNC has dominated in not letting the Dems have the ball.  We had it a bit with the house thing, but after the election, I thought we could dominate with issues, but what do we have ?  an offside and all the stadium is screaming lunacy while the ref will not blow the whistle.  

    ( or something like that)

    I don't know (none / 0) (#33)
    by Bluesage on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:04:19 AM EST
    Enough about sports or cards to comment here but from my observations Obama had all the cards with the rootin, tootin media love he was getting and blew a lot of it with that European tour and not picking the other person the people wanted, you know, the one who also got 18 million votes.  McCain's camp seem to be playing this a little smarter.  The first reactions from the Obama camp and many of his surrogates did not play the Palin pick very well.  They just cannot seem to find any reason to shy away from the misogyny and can't seem to figure out that's a bad thing. I think we may need a very strong Democratic Congress in Nov.

    Exacty (none / 0) (#35)
    by Matt in Chicago on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:51:20 AM EST
    The selection of Biden shored up the perceived 'experience' problem of Obama but otherwise brought very little to the ticket.  By this I mean, he is from a state that Obama was likely to win, he comes with a long records (some good, some bad), he goes against the campaigns theme of change, and he didn't really excite the base of the Democratic party.

    The selection of Palin has energized the Republicans, bolsters McCains maverick and reformer cred, while she doesn't have the 'experience' of McCain... he didn't need help that way... and frankly experience isn't a path that Obama (who is not running for the number two job) really wants to talk about, she may make some Hillary voters think twice (not voting for Obama is almost as good as voting for McCain).

    Combine this with the fact that Gustav gives them a chance to redeem their actions during Katrina (under a new Republican Governor no less) and this has been a very good week for the McCain campaign.  Made more so by the overt sexism and general stupidity of many progressive bloggers.

    If she performs marginally well against Biden in the debates, this could prove to be a turning point.

    How is THAT for scary.


    It's an odd analogy (none / 0) (#34)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:40:00 AM EST
    Especially because anyone who's ever been to a casino knows that you get some of the best odds at the craps table.  Of all the games, you're most likely to win playing the pass line at craps.  All things considered, the smart game to play is craps rather than poker.  If we were talking about a casino, which we are not.

    In any event, it's pretty lame.

    I'd like to know (none / 0) (#36)
    by Grace on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:30:51 PM EST
    which candidate plays chess?  ;-)

    That would imply that the... (none / 0) (#37)
    by EL seattle on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:54:43 PM EST
    ...candidates are the ones who are the players in this game.

    Or, as a very wise man once observed...

    "Mongo only pawn in game of life."


    That right there (none / 0) (#38)
    by syrupcore on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 02:03:12 PM EST
    is some fine analysis BTD. :)

    I still think the biggest story here is the McCain doing exactly what he's BSing Obama about: Putting politics before country.  Any one who has ever managed to take a dump in this world can see this was a political decision that most certainly doesn't put country first.

    There just has to be a good baseball (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 02:15:19 PM EST
    analogy here.  I'm thinking of the Padres acquiring Randy Meyers, a record-setting closer, for the 1998 world series run. [Of course, the Padres also acquired Jim Leyritz, "The King," which worked out extremely well.]  Pads spent a ton of money to get Meyers, but the guy really couldn't pitch well anymore.  Meanwhile, say, the opposition acquires an inexpensive rookie from the Fl Marlins. Lots of potential but not much track record.