Obama’s Chicago buddies dish on his poker skills

Brett Michael Dykes
National Affairs Reporter
The Ticket

While many on the left have been taken aback by President Obama's giving in to the GOP's refusal to compromise on the party's "holy grail" -- extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- there is one group of people who saw it coming: the president's poker buddies back in Chicago.

The Daily Beast's Randall Lane tracked down a few of them to have them weigh in on Obama's table skills. As Lane notes, "poker has nothing to do with cards (a three-year-old can memorize the rote full-house-beats-flush-beats-straight rules) and everything to do with reading people and displaying strength in order to compel a desired outcome."

Taking recent events into consideration, the results of Lane's poker-buddy survey might seem somewhat predictable. Here's a sample: "A very cautious player"..."Barack was a ... very conservative poker player" ... "He held his cards close to his vest" ... "He wasn't a bluffer" ... "When Barack was betting, you could pretty much know that he had a hand."

Given that profile, perhaps it's no surprise that Obama wasn't able to "budge" the GOP "hostage takers" at the negotiating table.