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Obama vs. McCain

In a heads-up poker match

by Todd Brunson |  Published: Dec 31, 2008


McCain Vs. ObamaIf Barack Obama and John McCain were duking it out in a heads-up poker match, instead of a presidential election, would Obama still have won? I think it would have been much more entertaining to let them decide who would next lead this great nation in this manner, and possibly more efficient, too. Let's tally up their strengths and weaknesses and try to decide who would have won.

Let's start with the basics, and there's nothing more basic than table image. Obama looks a lot like Phil Ivey. At a poker table, that's got to be a good thing. McCain? Well, he looks a lot like Berry Johnston. (I know, you young guys are saying, Berry who?) This might have been a good thing back in Berry's day, but that was like in the 1880s. Advantage Obama.

Patience; Obama gave his acceptance speech before a third of the states had their votes counted. McCain spent five-and-a-half years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. I mean, could you imagine getting raked over the coals by a Vietnamese interrogator, especially if he were like Scotty Nguyen's cousin? "Tell us what we want to know, Baby, or it's gonna be all over." Or, "Where's the information, man? How long we have to wait? Enough is enough!"

Even worse would be if the interrogator spoke like Minh Ly or Chau Giang. Even if you wanted to answer his questions, you couldn't, because you couldn't understand a word he was saying. They would have to fly Daniel Negreanu in to translate for you. After five-and-a-half years of this, McCain's gotta have the patience of a monk, and God bless him. That's a big advantage at the poker table. Advantage McCain.

Tells; did you see McCain's reactions while Obama was talking during their debates? My gosh, I've seen Phil Hellmuth act more subtle than that after taking a bad beat. Obama, on the other hand, was able to keep a straight face and stick to his guns when caught in a blatant lie. He claimed to be a regular churchgoer, yet never heard any of the anti-American things that his pastor (Jeremiah Wright) said. These sermons were even sold in the church lobby. Umm, OK there, Barack. He lied about being a regular churchgoer, and heard these comments or was sleeping through most every sermon (and never discussed anything about the sermons with friends or family?). Either way, advantage Obama.

Aggression (there's not anything much more important in poker); Obama kept saying over and over again how much he respected McCain (wuss). McCain? He actually referred to Obama as "that one" in the middle of a debate. He also looked ready to take Obama outside to settle things, or maybe even slap him around right there on the stage. Advantage McCain.

Hand selection (you can't win in poker without this); Obama chose Biden (bachelor's degree in history and political science, University of Delaware, 1965; law degree, Syracuse University, 1968). McCain chose Palin (switched colleges several times before receiving her bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Idaho in 1987). Enough said, advantage Obama.

Entourages; no poker superstar is complete without his own entourage. McCain's two closest homeboys? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Let's see, these guys took out the only stabilizing influence in the Middle East (Saddam Hussein), allowed the American public to be raped by big business, and my biggest criticism of all is one that no one ever seems to mention: George W. had one of the greatest advisors possible available to him - the youngest American pilot to see combat, a longtime head of the CIA, as well as a former vice president and president himself - his father.

I mean, he went out of his way not to be photographed with his dad after he took office. Who could better understand the turmoil of being president and give great advice than a guy who's been there himself? Is this guy so insecure that he can't stand to live in his father's shadow? I would never let myself get into that type of situation … oh wait, never mind. Let's move on to the next guy.

Obama; the top two riders in his posse are Oprah and Jesse Jackson. Let's start with Oprah. While I respect her a lot for being a self-made media mogul/multimillionaire, in my opinion, the only reason she stuck her nose in the political arena was because she shares the same tone of skin as Obama. If you think this isn't true, ask yourself why she hasn't endorsed any other political candidates in the last 20-plus years that she's been around. Is Obama the first one in all this time who shares her political beliefs? Why is he "the one"?

Now let's move on to Jesse Jackson. For those of you who don't know who Jesse Jackson is, he's a "reverend" who had a love child with his mistress while being married to his wife since 1962. Jackson is also a "civil rights leader" who has been caught multiple times making ethnicity references. (Yes, I know it's ironic that I'm criticizing someone for making racial comments. But, my comments are jokes, not slurs, and I don't make my living traveling the globe preaching racial tolerance.)

You'd think the top two guys vying for the nation's most important job would keep better company. I'd say this one's a tossup, which leaves us in a dead heat.