Bluffing depends on uncertainty. Did the Capitol Police really have a history of discrimination? Did the officer really use excessive force? Does McKinney have solid evidence to back up her claims? And how much were the Capitol police willing to pay - in the currency of reputation and credibility - in order to find out?Poker. It's about everything.
Whatever you think of McKinney, it was hard not to be impressed by the way that she kept raising the stakes. It would have been hard enough for federal prosecutors to take on a member of congress in any circumstance, but she put them on notice that they might be publicly branded racists - and perhaps face a civil rights lawsuit - if they filed charges against McKinney. Under that sort of pressure, no one would blame them for backing off.
April 25, 2006
"McKinney ... kept restating her charges of discrimination and profiling - which is just how a good bluff works."
Lawprof Steven Lubet -- who's got a new book, "Lawyers' Poker: 52 Lessons That Lawyers Can Learn from Card Players" -- is blogging about Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and poker: