Friday, July 11, 2008

Gambling, Vice, And Our Presidential Candidates

As I was preparing for my annual jaunt out to Sin City, this Time Magazine article caught my attention regarding John McCain and Barack Obama's gambling habits.

Candidates' Vices: Craps and Poker:

The casino craps player is a social animal, a thrill seeker who wants not just to win but to win with a crowd. Unlike cards or a roulette wheel, well-thrown dice reward most everyone on the rail, yielding a collective yawp that drowns out the slots. It is a game for showmen, Hollywood stars and basketball legends with girls on their arms. It is also a favorite pastime of the presumptive Republican nominee for President, John McCain.

The backroom poker player, on the other hand, is more cautious and self-absorbed. Card games may be social, but they are played in solitude. No need for drama. The quiet card counter is king, and only a novice banks on luck. In this game, a good bluff trumps blind faith, and the studied observer beats the showman. So it is fitting that the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, raked in so many pots in his late-night games with political friends.
I'm not well versed on the psychology of gambling, but the article argues that the type of game each candidate favors says much about their personal psychology and possible leadership qualities.

Me? Interesting enough, I'll be throwing dice on the craps table and placing chips on the roulette wheel next week in Vegas. This suggests, according to the article, that I share personality traits with both candidates (the "social thrill" of craps, the "studied strategy" of roulette) .

I am, however, a lousy card player.

No comments: