Recently, I found myself wondering who I would vote for if Batman ran against Superman for the US presidency. But then it suddenly occurred to me that the frontrunners in the race for the Republican nomination are in fact kind of like Batman and Superman, so this isn’t just a hypothetical exercise.
One candidate/superhero led a privileged childhood, attending the finest schools and consorting with the ‘best’ families. He took full advantage of these opportunities to grow up to become a very successful businessman and public figure, with a vast fortune and formidable political influence. While happy to indulge in a life of luxury, with its requisite charity balls, expensive toys and family estates in all the cool places to summer and winter, this just isn’t enough for him. Something is missing from his life, perhaps living up to the expectations of his late father? After all, his father wasn’t just successful, he was also respected, even beloved, by the people. But there’s the rub. It’s tough to get them to like you when you really need for them to like you. Especially when you don’t understand them, since you’ve never really been around too many ‘regular’ people. So this candidate/superhero puts on a mask to disguise himself, and goes out into the gritty streets to be among the people to try and dispel the charge that he is detached and disconnected from the common man. But he knows deep down inside that he would much rather be in the secret underground hideout beneath his favorite mansion, ringing his butler to bring down some more old brandy.
The other candidate/superhero’s upbringing was much different. He grew up in a small town in the Midwest and went to public school. His father, who was from somewhere else, dreamed that one day his children would have a chance for a better life in a new land. And this candidate/superhero grew up with a deep appreciation for the opportunities that living in America afforded him. He would study hard, work even harder, and make his way to the big city where all the action was. And while people might claim that the sunny, “golly gee” disposition he still maintains after all these years is corny, the truth is that it’s really kind of endearing in a time when it’s hard not to be cynical about a guy who claims to fight for truth, justice and the American way. And for this candidate/superhero, suiting up involves taking off his glasses, putting on his signature tight-fitting garment and, quite interestingly, producing an effect where we get a better look at his true self.
I doubt that anyone would need any more hints as to which GOP candidate is the most like Batman, or the most like Superman. But just in case, the Batman candidate is the only one whose last name has the same number of letters as the word “Batman.” And even though there are two candidates whose last names have the same number of letters as “Superman,” the one I’m thinking of has a last name that begins with the letter “S.” And if even this isn’t enough to clarify matters, and you tend to think visually, just imagine which candidate has the squarest jaw, which is Batman’s most prominent and only visible facial feature, and you will probably guess the right guy. Then consider Superman’s most famous feature, his trademark cowlick, and look up the Wikipedia entries for the four remaining GOP candidates. You’ll find that one of them was nicknamed “Rooster’ for his “cowlick strand of hair and assertive nature” and you’re there. Or just visualize which candidate you would cast if you were producing the sequel, “Superman: The Presidential Years,” and you’ll probably be spot on.
So this has all been good fun, but the question still stands, and I will finally use names: “Does America need Batman/Romney or Superman/Santorum as its President?” I will attempt to answer this question in my next diary posting. So stay tuned…