Ken wrote an entry yesterday about an article he read in Time. It concerned the candidates' preferences when it comes to gambling. (Senator McCain prefers craps, and Senator Obama is into poker.) He got some comments saying that people thought that was pretty much a fluff piece for Time to publish, and that such things have no bearing on the campaign.
I beg to differ! I haven't read the article yet, but from Ken's synopsis, I totally get the relevance. It's nothing specific like policies or opinions, but I think your choice of casino games says a LOT about a person's personality.
Craps, for example, is very much a game of chance. While there is some strategy as to how you place your bets, whether you win or lose depends completely--and literally--upon the roll of the dice. And sometimes it's not YOU rolling the dice, it's the guy down at the end of the table, so you're counting on HIS luck to not crap out. The bets get bigger and the stakes get higher as you continue, and it's been my experience that when you win, you win big, but the same goes for losing. You can go up by quite a bit, but lose a bundle as you continue. To me, it's a very chancy game. It's a lot of fun when the rolls are going your way, and it's even more fun when you're rolling and everyone is winning because of you. It's one of the more adrenaline-charged games you can play, in my book.
If you prefer craps above all other casino games, it tells me that you like to be on the edge a bit. You get off on that adrenaline rush, and you're willing to take the chance on winning big while knowing that you could lose just as big. You're a little impetuous, but you enjoy the excitement of the game. You like to take chances.
Poker, on the other hand, is a more deliberative game. While there is chance involved in what cards you're dealt, it is up to you as to how you want to play them. A good poker player will know his odds of getting two pair or a full house, three of a kind or a flush, etc., and play accordingly. They will know when to stop betting, cut their losses, and fold. They will also know when it's time to bluff, and they will be very good at it. Poker, much like blackjack, takes more thought and strategy than pure games of chance like craps or roulette. It also takes more concentration as you focus on the players around you and learn their style of play and bluffing.
If poker is your poison, it tells me that you're more thoughtful when it comes to your games. You're not willing to hand things over to fate, you want a little more control. You want to play smart and fair, but you know when you have to be misleading, and sometimes you've got nothing in your hand, so you DO have to bluff. You don't like to take big chances, and will deliberate before taking quick action.
If you stop and think about both of our candidates, this fits very well with their personalities. Senator McCain has always been known as a bit of a maverick, and has been accused of being hot-headed (I think that overstates it--he's got a temper, but who doesn't?). Senator Obama has a more contemplative style, and has methodically gone about picking the people who have built what I like to call his "campaign juggernaut."
While it may be a sort of "pop culture" approach to personality, I find that the gambling analogy and the candidates' choices of games are fairly on-the-money, so to speak. I understand the appeal of both games.
Me? I'm a blackjack girl.