For the thrill, would they gamble with a nation's future?
McCain and Obama put it on the line
Posted: 04:00 PM ET
From CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt
Both presidential candidates have been known to enjoy gambling.
(CNN) – John McCain often brags about gambling with his political career by reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats or by voting against his party. But it turns out risking his political ambition is only part of a larger affinity for the thrill of putting it on the line.
An article published Thursday by Time Magazine takes a look at both McCain and Barack Obama’s love for the tables.
McCain is a heavy-betting high-energy craps man, while Obama prefers the slow pace and strategy of poker, reporters Michael Scherer and Michael Weisskopf write.
“Enjoying craps opens up a window on a central thread constant in John's life,” the article quotes former McCain strategist John Weaver as saying. “Taking a chance, playing against the odds.”
You won’t find McCain at the low-stakes tables, but rolling the dice with thousands of dollars at stake. He draws the line at taking markers, or loans, from the casinos to play.
He’s not in it for the money, the article says, but the camaraderie at the table and the thrill of winning.
Aides have recently curbed McCain’s casino visits, and Obama’s gambling days have waned since arriving in the U.S. Senate. But back in Springfield, Obama and three other state senators made up the core of a weekly bi-partisan poker game that often included lobbyists and bank, insurance and utilities agents.
Tight play and an unwavering desire to win kept Obama raking in the $3 top raise pots, and led a Republican rival to exclaim, “Doggone it, Barack, if you were more liberal in your card-playing and more conservative in your politics, you and I would get along much better.”