Peter Conrad in The Guardian:
Except for Donald Trump, who believes solely in himself, American politicians are inveterate God-botherers, certain that they have been elected by their creator, not simply by their constituents. Whereas re-traversing the switch of energy between Trump and Joe Biden, Bob Woodward and his Washington Publish colleague Robert Costa typically pause because the wheelers and sellers they’re monitoring pray, textual content scriptural citations or look sanctimoniously skywards. Biden fingers his rosary beads earlier than debating Trump, and when Mike Pence performs his constitutional responsibility by ratifying the end result of the presidential election, an aide congratulates him for preventing the nice struggle and protecting the religion. Later, Nancy Pelosi summarises her scheme for elevating the minimal wage as “the gospel of Matthew”.
But regardless of such homages to the soul, what actually issues within the showdowns and face-offs that Peril paperwork is the chunky physique and its thuggish heft. Amongst Trump’s enforcers, solely the anti-immigrant ideologue Stephen Miller, whose skinny body and slick fitted fits are famous by Woodward and Costa, has a lean and hungry look. In any other case, energy is exhibited by a swollen paunch. Invoice Barr turns into lawyer common as a result of Melania thinks his “terribly massive stomach” is a assure of gravitas. Mike Pompeo is “heavy and gregarious”, which means that he has “little tolerance for liberals”. Brad Parscale, Trump’s former marketing campaign supervisor, qualifies for his job as a result of “at six foot eight and bearded, he seemed like knowledgeable wrestler”. Given this huddle of heavyweights, it amused me to study that Biden’s entourage features a “intestine test” – no, not a dietician however a crony who provides a second opinion when the brand new president desires to behave on intuition.
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