Republican Presidential Primaries are my favorite time, as anyone who knows me knows. Thoughts on the candidates below based on my viewing of the last debate on Youtube.
Santorum - Scared and uncertain. An endlessly defensive squint in the form of political personhood. A light-sensitive soul determined to be in the light but unwilling to ask himself why.
Bachmann - Unmitigated and unsettling certainty. Primitivism and a return to ages of dirt. Hers is not a vision of sky and horizon but of hands held in a small room, gazes shared downward. Existence itself denied to human bodies not linked at that moment.
Pawlenty - Punchy and sardonic. The calculated move from the card-board charisma-less lightweight has miraculously influenced growth of a more organic sort. The trail has deepened him but soulfulness is relative.
Romney - Testament to performative professionalism and the charm of the sitcom dad. Political theater in historic Americana museum terms.
Paul - Conceptually-based campus politics sharing the same seat with stand-up comedy truths, leadership in conflict with our collective delusions. His commitment, secular though sharing the same social function as religion.
Gingrich - The only candidate who leaned on their podium in a contemptuous posture. In his voice, one can hear the Speaker talking himself out of his own interest, comic strip word bubble sentences which increase in transparency, completing in total invisibility by the point of punctuation. But known only to him, these words simultaneously rise in volume. The career highlight was the theatrical pounding of the gavel. The real guitarist still plays air guitar, the former Speaker still mimes the gavel pound motion in solitary rooms. He can never not sound like a man who longs to be alone.
Huntsman - The dreamer of the day though not uncynical enough to know the collisions ahead. A not-fully formed pound of clay. Do we surrender to the self-perpetuated perceptions we can’t shake, climb up the hill knowing the peak may be unreachable or let gravity guide a smooth roll?
Cain - The meter and momentum of his speech has a diagonally downward trajectory. A legacy of racially determined punishment learned to be received as comedy, parallel to the titular joke of “Godfather’s Pizza.” There are generations of ghosts who silently walk with him, translucent figures who look to others for laughter as it is no longer within their capacity.