Who Was Bluffing His Way Through Politics Better: Bush Or Cheney?

For a long time, it was a common belief, at least within some circles of friends and acquaintances, that Dick Cheney was nothing but a big bluff. He hid his poker face well, letting only the President Bush know of his hand. The American public did not learn much from Dick Cheney personally. In fact, he was unusually quiet for a Vice President. Politicians are often like poker players. It is the one who knows how to bluff best, that wins.

That was the bluff. He seemed to fade into the background, as Vice President, but he sure had his poker chips all in place. The only thing he needed to do was signal the President his wishes, just like a poker player signaling his partner on the table.

A Good Player Of The Card Game Is Not Necessarily Equal To The Task Of Teaching It

This seemed obvious to many. While Dick Cheney could hold his own on the discussion tables at the White House, that doesn’t mean he could easily impart his knowledge to a novice. A novice who is not particularly suited to the intricacies of the game, especially the subtleties, will not only develop headaches in the attempt to duplicate his master’s skill, he will give his master a headache as well.

A Good Poker Player Uses His Understanding Of Human Nature.

Playing poker is a game of luck – whichever card one is dealt – to the newly initiated. To the seasoned player, it is so much more than that. Speaking politically, we may just for example, compare former President Bush to the newly initiated player and former Vice President Cheney to the seasoned gambler. Even though George W. Bush had been in politics for some time, he may not have completely grasped the intricacies involved in “reading people.” Richard Cheney, on the other hand, seemed to focus on hearing what was not being said, what was disguised in a look, a handshake. Just as a poker player will strive to become master of the art of hiding thoughts, so did Dick Cheney.

Ex-President G. W. Bush on the other hand never quite mastered the façade of staying cool, his inexperience in the game of poker usually let his mask slip to the point where he stood and looked a number of times quite still, as if to search in a non-existent repertoire of answers. The experienced poker player could not afford to be caught this unprotected.

What Are The Gains In The Game Of Poker Or In Politics?

It seems the gain in both instances is the same: power, money, prestige in the case of the politician. The order may change a little for the poker player but is basically the same. However, it is here where politics and gambling diverge.

The poker player, after a good night, goes to his hotel room with a duffle bag filled with either chips or cash. He is quite satisfied with having won lots of money and perhaps also receiving a little prestige for having such skill. Power is not nearly as important to him as having beaten the cards. The politician is a little more sophisticated, or perhaps less transparent. Power is the most sought after gain in politics, for whoever has power, will gain everything else also.

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