Thursday, October 9, 2008

McCain Has Exhausted His Gambler's Luck

Prof. Horace Jeffery Hodges in Korea reflects on John McCain's propensity to gamble in his Gypsy Scholar blog. First, he cites Charles Krauthammer's own observations on McCain's gambler's luck in his column, "Hail Mary vs Cool Barry."

Krauthammer's Hail Mary Rule: You get only two per game. John McCain, unfortunately, has already thrown three. The first was his bet on the surge, a deep pass to David Petraeus who miraculously ran it all the way into the end zone.

Then, seeking a game-changer after the Democratic convention, McCain threw blind into the end zone to a waiting Sarah Palin. She caught the ball. Her subsequent fumbles have taken the sheen off of that play, but she nonetheless invaluably solidifies his Republican base.

When the financial crisis hit, McCain went razzle-dazzle again, suspending his campaign and declaring that he'd stay away from the first presidential debate until the financial crisis was solved. He tempted fate one time too many.

Hodges tells us about McCain's gambling activities at Foxwoods. The he concludes this way:

"A lot of people don't know when the moment to stop has come, as we've perhaps seen in the excessive risks that a lot of distinguished executives in the financial sector have taken over the past several years. The resulting financial crisis has made them look like inveterate gamblers.

"Whether or not McCain knows when walk away, even to be known as a risk-taker during this time of financial uncertainty might work to his disadvantage on November 4, when people are likely to pull the lever for the candidate who seems less likely to gamble with their future."

Harold adds:

So--given the info in "Card Night at Ole Miss" maybe we should, in the event of a tie in the Electoral College, let these two card sharps play off the tie in a round of 5 card stud. Could be an epic moment in political history--not unlike the story, from my home state of Colorado, where the governors of Colorado and Texas, playing a heated game of poker, found the Colorado governor out of chips. He "saw" the Texan's bet with title to Pikes Peak, lost the hand, and there has been animosity amongst Coloradans and Texans ever since, with Texans insisting they won it fair and square ,and Coloradans gritting their teeth over the sight of every tossed Lone Star beer can on the Front Range of the Rockies.

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