The Republicans have gone to great lengths trying to convince the voters -- especially the older voters -- that Barack Obama is "risky". The more voters know about Barack Obama, the more difficult their task has become. And another stark reality has stood in their way.
If you like taking risks, John McCain's your guy.
McCain is notorious for his willingness to throw the dice -- literally.
Last Sunday's the New York Times describes the scene at the Foxwoods resort Casino as he "tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 AM, the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings."
McCain is a lifelong gambler - gambling as often as once a month, according to the Times. "In May 2007, as Mr. McCain's presidential bid was floundering, he spent a weekend at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas strip," where he raised funds, "attended a boxing match and hit the crap tables."
But that's not all. McCain seems to like taking risks -- in his own life -- and with the country. Tossing around $100 chips is nothing for McCain. He's perfectly comfortable tossing around trillion dollar chips.
McCain threw the dice on Iraq, believed the flawed intelligence, and bet on a preemptive war that cost the country a trillion dollars and thousands of lives.
He championed the deregulation of the financial industry -- allowing wealthy investment bankers to make huge bets on risky loans that are now costing the American taxpayers another trillion bucks.
He wants to privatize Social Security, diverting a portion of everyone's Social Security payments in to risky private accounts and cutting guaranteed benefits in half -- a multi-trillion dollar gamble that doesn't look so good in a market that's lost a fifth of its value since the first of this year.
His health care "plan" bets on completely replacing employer based health care benefits with private plans that leave each family individually at the mercy of the health insurance companies. He goes so far as to tax health care benefits provided by employers and eliminates state regulatory protections for health insurance consumers.
In his own campaign he has a penchant for throwing the "Hail Mary" -- from Sarah Palin to last week's move to "suspend his campaign" and "postpone the debate". He is prone to make sudden, unpredictable moves, take chances, go with his gut.
McCain's campaign is increasingly erratic -- even "chaotic" according to the last Sunday's Washington Post. Robert Gibbs, press spokesman for Barack Obama, put it this way, "if McCain is driving the car, you might want to get off the sidewalk."
And like many compulsive gamblers, John McCain doesn't mind bending the truth if it stands in his way.
The question for a lot of voters -- especially seniors -- is this: Do we really want a high stakes gambler with a history of shooting from the hip with his hand on the button as Commander-in-Chief -- or appointing the Secretary of the Treasury with all his new power to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on Wall Street?
It's one thing for John McCain to gamble with his own money -- but do we really want John McCain gambling with our future?
Robert Creamer is a long time political organizer and strategist and author of the recent book: Stand Up Straight. How Progressives Can Win, available on Amazon.com.
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