Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Big Dance

The Nepotism Tango
Published: September 30, 2007

The tango is a highly eroticized dance step with its origins in the cowboy culture of South America. Nepotism is the practice of awarding relatives with jobs regardless of their qualifications.

Politics is often described as a horse race. Perhaps comparing it to a dance contest is a better metaphor since it is a combination of skill and appearance that determines the winner.

Maybe it’s fitting that a woman who first sashayed into the national consciousness with an equation — “two for the price of one” — may have her fate determined by the arithmetic of dynasty.
Personally, I don’t need the mental image of Hillary sashaying anywhere, let alone into the nations consciousness. While sashay usually means “To strut or flounce in a showy manner” it also has a specific dancing connotation which is “A figure in square dancing in which partners circle each other by taking sideways steps.” That narrower meaning is ripe for all sorts of metaphorical interpretation.

And Hillary isn't the only one doing some circle stepping:
Obama, tiptoeing gingerly around Hillary...
That is tiptoeing as in through the tulips with Tiny Tim. And we all know what gingerly means.

Not only does Hillary strut and sidestep, she is getting dance advice from writer Bill Sammon:
The Texas president has been sending the New York senator messages to “maintain some political wiggle room in your campaign rhetoric about Iraq,” as Mr. Sammon puts it.
The Texas/New York contrast there is not accidental as it gets repeated later:
Without nepotism, Hillary would be running for the president of Vassar. But then, without nepotism, W. would be pumping gas in Midland — and not out of the ground.
Vassar, of course, being the very prestigious formerly all-female sister school to Hillary’s alma mater Wellesley. And Midland is the Texas outpost of the Bush dynasty where Bush the Younger learned how to lose money in the oil business at his daddy’s knee.

It’s all MoDo’s way of saying that when it comes to grace and elegance, Hillary is Strictly Ballroom and Dubya is nothing but Texas Two-Step.

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