Dramatis Personae

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As we head toward the March showdown of the Primary Elimination Tournament, perhaps we should consider the religious roles assumed by each of the Final Four. On the Republican side of the bracket, there’s underdog Mike Huckabee, struggling to evangelize the GOP with a new gospel of progressive conservatism–public works and help for the poor and music and art in the schools alongside no abortion and tough border controls. The overdog is John McCain, preaching the grim message of a 100-year war against radical Islam. Over on the more evenly matched Democratic side, meanwhile, is Barack Obama of the beatific vision, who conveys to the star-struck an ability to walk on water. He’s matched against Hillary Clinton, the solution-monger, staking her claim on 35 years worth of knowing the subject matter inside out. So there you have it: the Evangelist, the Fire-and-Brimstone Preacher, the Messiah, and the Sunday School Teacher. Take your pick.