Friday, September 26, 2008

John McCain - Courageous or Dumb?

Deal or No Deal? Bailout or No Bailout?

Debate or No Debate? Courageous or Dumb?

Last night kicked off the new season of Survivor Gabon. So far, one allegedly weaker contestant Gillian Larson and one so called "Toxic" contestant, Michelle Chase, have been issued their walking papers. The timing of the season opener and the political events of the day were an uncanny reminder of my post about Erik Reichenbach titled Courageous or Dumb? during the last Survivor series. I am very curious how/if this statement might apply to today's politics and John McCain's recent decision to suspend his campaign.

From where I sit in my comfortable chair it's easy to observe the poker game going on between presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. I watched as John McCain, faced with declining polls and a strengthening opponent looked at his cards and determined he had a very weak hand. I feel he opted to bluff his way through this round and try to draw for the inside straight. Most poker players know that's a long shot. By suspending his presidential campaign and offering to delay the debate, McCain, who has admitted he is weak in the Economy department, hoped to signal to the public that he is being responsible and demonstrating sound leadership ability. He contended that the bail-out plan, and the "Broken Economy", are more important than the debate and they should be addressed immediately. Furthermore, he maintained that it is imperative that he and Obama put aside their differences, at least for now, and evoke some bipartisan spirit and fix this crisis.

Was this a bluff gone bad? Was this an attempt by McCain to buy himself more time and perhaps wait for voter sentiment to change? Was he hoping to capitalize on an economic bail-out plan that seemed to be headed for a slam dunk? Was he attempting to give himself more time to prepare for this critical debate? Or is he just an arrogant presidential candidate who wants his piece of the pie?

According to the

The objective evidence is that things got worse, not better, in Washington after McCain arrived. There was a tentative deal, announced by congressional leaders, when McCain landed in Washington. Hours later, there was chaos and recriminations.

There also seems to be some question now on whether McCain had even read the 2 1/2 page Republican proposal at all making him look even less prepared and less presidential. (McCain's team is running damage control on this issue as I type) Watch this and you be the judge:

In all fairness to McCain, the initial proposal for a bail out was loaded with flaws. In addition, it was supported by a Lame Duck President - George W. Bush, who is perceived to have a history of misleading the public and supporting big business at the expense of the "little guy." The constituents are demanding representation and accountability from their representatives. This is a very complex problem with an unclear solution. The legislators want to put forth a solution but the idea of corporate executives stuffing their pockets with large amounts of cash as they walk away from failing companies is hard to swallow. Furthermore, the dichotomy of bailing out the "big guy" while the "little folks" are facing foreclosure looms and would be difficult to digest. It's quite possible that more representatives vocalized their opposition to the plan as the time passed and this was irrespective of McCain's presence. It's also possible that there was some misunderstanding on which plan McCain was referring to when he said he was not familiar with and had not read the plan.

From a different perspective and the other side of the table, I also watched as Barack Obama eyed his cards and looked down at a pair of fours. Not a particularly strong hand but better than McCains. His hand may have appeared stronger given his rising favor in the polls and Sarah Palin's less than stellar interview with Katie Couric (follow this link for the interview). His hand was possibly tainted by his, and Joe Biden's vote on the "bridge to nowhere" but certainly the stronger hand so far. Barack Obama took the opportunity to remind the voting public that the President of the United States may be required to perform several important tasks at once and make McCain appear less than capable for suggesting a time out or truce while they worked on the bail out.

Interesting stuff Huh?

Well as of this moment.... The shoot out is ON! McCain and Obama will face off tonight with loaded guns in their first Presidential Debate. They are collecting their final cards for the day and starting to wager. McCain is all in and Obama has just shoved a large stack of chips to the middle of the table. We will soon find out if John McCain will draw to his inside straight? Will he prove to be Courageous? Or Dumb? Will Barack Obama trump him by calling his bluff and beating him with a meager pair of fours? Or will Obama wipe the stage with McCain and throw down 3 or 4 of a kind? Maybe even a Full House! Hard to say right now but I'll be watching the debate tonight!

Tune in to see who held the best poker hand.

What a week! And if nothing else, these are exciting times.