In the field of foreign affairs, experts try to stay one step ahead of the opposition.
Sometimes, flush with victory, they can get straight to the matter at hand, though the ever-present wild card has a way of turning a good bet bad. When luck comes in spades, all bets are off. That requires a hard poker face.
And lest anyone worry about stacking the deck, this is a game where anyone can cut it.
So it was for Sen. John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona and Vietnam War hero who sat through the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the White House’s bid for military force in Syria today, as Secretary of State John Kerry extolled the hardened war experience of himself, McCain, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey – McCain, with eyes cast downward in the frequent cut-away shots of the committee, was focused on something close at hand.
Surveying critical staff communications? Checking on his investments?
Or just honing his bluffing skills.
The Washington Post’s photographer, Melina Mara, zoomed in for the shot: McCain “passing the time by playing poker on his iPhone during the hearing.”
Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing – worst of all I lost!
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) September 3, 2013