Candidate of Dune

The problem was not Obama; the problem was that at the instant when Hillary Clinton at last conceded, the nature of the campaign changed. It was, I considered (perhaps under the influence of the kind smile and exhortatory squeeze on the arm bestowed on me by Jimmy Carter, president of my darkest adolescence, as he passed me in the doorway of a LoDo Mexican restaurant), like the change that might occur between the first and second volumes of some spectacular science fiction fantasy epic. At the end of the first volume, after bitter struggle, Obama had claimed the presumptive nomination. We Fremen had done the impossible, against Sardaukar and imperial shock troops alike. We had brought water to Arrakis. Now the gathered tribes of the Democratic Party—hacks, Teamsters, hat ladies, New Mexicans, residents of those states most nearly resembling Canada, Jews of South Florida, dreadlocks, crewcuts, elderlies and goths, a cowboy or two, sons and daughters of interned Japanese-Americans—had assembled on the plains of Denver to attempt to vanquish old Saruman McCain.

Michael Chabon, of course.

2 thoughts on “Candidate of Dune

  1. Chabon nails the feeling of the convention, I think, but perhaps the problem was not the way in which everyone stayed on message (the same happened at the far fierier received GOP convention) but the sense that the message had been chosen – and honed – after a great deal of thought, rather than as a matter of principle. So the narrowing of the message was perhaps deadening in execution rather than conception.

    After all, the opening out of that message at the end of Obama’s speech that Chabon so rapturously celebrates wasn’t really anything but the raising up – the passionate advocacy of – what had otherwise been a message expressed in workaday, focus grouped prose…

    Also, I’m pretty sure that should be Sauron McCain given the context.

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