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.