He doesn't talk about it much in press conferences, but President Obama is a poker player. According to Randall Lane, former editor-at-large at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and editor of Forbes, "decisive presidents like Jackson and Truman and Teddy Roosevelt" used poker to hone their instincts for developing winning strategies. Obama played a lot before being elected to the Senate and his playing partners back then can tell you things about his style.
"A very cautious player," says Illinois state Senator Terry Link, who between 1997 and 2004 hosted a weekly game with Obama and other lawmakers at his house on Seventh Street in Springfield. "Very cautious in the sense that he didn't just throw his money away. He played the odds. He didn't play for the inside straight."
Barack was a very good, very conservative poker player," adds Larry Walsh, now the executive of Will County, outside Chicago. "He held his cards close to his vest. Very rarely did you find Barack Obama being caught by surprise. He wasn't a bluffer. When Barack was betting, you could pretty much know that he had a hand."
So, as Obama and Boehner face each other at the Fiscal Cliff Poker Club, it's a good bet that Obama is holding the winning cards. The main thing Boehner and The Party of NO have to decide now is how they're going to try to spin it when they lose ... again. When Republicans were handed their ass in the election a few weeks ago, it was entertaining to listen to them try to explain it all away. We can look forward to another round of RWNJ storytelling in another few weeks.
The question, then, is "How are they going to try to spin it?" Respond to the poll, or let us know if you have a different guess.
(To avoid the rotten Vine poll formatting, the questions are listed in full below. The actual poll only has keyword descriptions.)
How Will Republicans Try To Spin It When They Lose?
- The Big Lie: "We didn't lose. We got 98 percent of what we wanted."
- Chicken Little: "You just wait!! This will be a disaster even worse than Roosevelt!"
- Cry Baby: "(Sob!) It just isn't fair!!! (Sob!)" (Sobbing at the microphone is a Boehner specialty!)
- Look Over There: "What about Benghazi? Isn't a Portuguese Water Dog un-American?"
- Razzle Dazzle: "84% of the job creators will pay 92% of the marginal 77% of the negative 111% of the downward spiral created by the 69% of the tax increases that we did not agree with."
- Under the Bus: "Speaker Boehner has resigned to allow him to direct more of his energy toward personal commitments to his family."