The Republican Debate: Attack of the Clones!

W.J. Astore

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s one:

635858109901870040-AP-GOP-2016-Debate.2

From left to right, we have Kasich, Fiorina, Rubio, Carson, Trump, Cruz, Jeb!, Christie, and Paul.

Look closely.  Rubio, Trump, Cruz, Jeb!, Christie, and Paul are following the standard sartorial script for “conservative” politicians: dark suits, red power ties, flag lapel pins.  Obedient to their image consultants, they are conforming to the notion that one can appear confident and patriotic just by donning that red tie and flag pin.  In the spirit of the “Star Wars” season, let’s call this the “Attack of the Clones.”

Then you have Fiorina.  She upstages the men with a power red suit, complete with an ostentatious cross to assure viewers that she’s not just a kickass former CEO: She’s a kickass Christian CEO.

Fiorina Rubio

Then we have Dr. Ben Carson.  Yes, he has the (nearly) obligatory flag lapel pin, but kudos to him for wearing a smart blue tie with white polka dots.  His tie is much like the way the candidate speaks: calm and measured.  (The content of his speech is often a different story.)

carson

Finally we have John Kasich.  A soft blue tie and no flag lapel pin.  Why do you hate America, Governor Kasich?

Kasich

Well, if I had to vote for a Republican based purely on optics, I’d go for Kasich.  Imagine a Republican candidate brave enough not to wear a power red tie and a flag lapel pin.  With no Christian crosses in sight.

Perhaps Kasich actually wants to be judged by his words and deeds?