DO YOU WANT McCAIN TO BE ROLLING THE DICE WITH THE USA’S FUTURE?
In the past decade, [McCain] has played on Mississippi riverboats, on Indian land, in Caribbean craps pits and along the length of the Las Vegas Strip. Back in 2005 he joined a group of journalists at a magazine-industry conference in Puerto Rico, offering betting strategy on request. “Enjoying craps opens up a window on a central thread constant in John’s life,” says John Weaver, McCain’s former chief strategist, who followed him to many a casino. “Taking a chance, playing against the odds.” Aides say McCain tends to play for a few thousand dollars at a time and avoids taking markers, or loans, from the casinos, which he has helped regulate in Congress. “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.
Only recently have McCain’s aides urged him to pull back from the pastime. In the heat of the G.O.P. primary fight last spring, he announced on a visit to the Vegas Strip that he was going to the casino floor. When his aides stopped him, fearing a public relations disaster, McCain suggested that they ask the casino to take a craps table to a private room, a high-roller privilege McCain had indulged in before. His aides, with alarm bells ringing, refused again, according to two accounts of the discussion.
“He clearly knows that this is on the borderline of what is acceptable for him to be doing,” says a Republican who has watched McCain play. “And he just sort of revels in it.”
Addictive behavior? The Stump ads
At the end of the piece, a former Obama colleague, refering to Obama’s contemplative gambling style, tells Time, “If he runs his presidency the way he plays poker, I’ll sleep good at night.” I think the converse is true of McCain–I’d sleep pretty poorly if he were to run his presidency the way he plays craps. (And I think the odds are high that he would. He certainly seems to run his campaign that way…)
I think this is a discussion that needs alot more press and attention. Barack Obama plays small time, low stakes poker, John McCain LOVES to drop thousands often in high risk plays… Who do you want near the button?
Update: Where did John McCraps get his funny money to gamble with anyway? Doesn’t he have a modest income; how does one afford gambling often, several thousand per engagement? Cindy play money?? Is he on an allowance???
Update II: There was a fruitful analysis conducted by some professional odds makers / gamblers in discussion to each habit and relation to persona, decision styles.
Andy Bloch, one of the world’s leading players who has accumulated $715,000 so far at this year’s World Series, told The Sunday Telegraph: “There are a lot of skills playing poker that would help the chief executive.
“In poker you have to put yourself in the shoes of your opponents, get inside their heads and figure out what they’re thinking; what their actions mean; what they would think your actions mean; and reading people’s bluffs.
“One thing that got us into the Iraq War was that George Bush didn’t realise that Saddam Hussein was basically bluffing, trying to look like a big man, when he really had no weapons of mass destruction.”
“Barack Obama, like Lyndon Johnson, used poker to make political connections. He seems not to be much of a bluffer. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a giant bluff by JFK, which was not called by Khruschev. I don’t think we’ll get those kind of geopolitical gambles from Obama.”
and on McCain
“You’re always at a disadvantage at craps,” said Mr Bloch. “It’s a problem, if you have a leader who believes they can beat the odds. You don’t want him shooting dice with the economy.” Mr Holden added: “We poker players don’t call poker gambling. It is a game of skill. Craps is an absurd game of luck. You may have thrilling short term wins but only madmen play craps.”