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A Republican primary style guide

Art plays an important role in society. It is a cultural mirror, a telling portrayal of some of our more irrational or eccentric tendencies. We appreciate the perspective it provides, but it’s always more entertaining when life imitates art, as was the case with Rick Perry’s latest presidential commercial. Tricky Ricky asserts that openly gay military personnel are the latest abuse of separation of church and state. Meanwhile, he’s dressed as Ennis Del Mar, America’s tragic man crush. Guess Rick went to the loo during the thirty-second guy on guy love scene in Brokeback Mountain. What else could explain his sartorial choice? No matter, the look works for him. Here’s a quick style guide for a few of the other 2012 Republican contenders. Lights, camera, and all that jazz.

Michele Bachmann
She is right wing America’s favorite sweetheart, the “Core of Conviction”, and some might call her the mad hatter hostess of a Tea Party cotillion. Call her what you want, Michele Bachmann has a firm base, and a smile, if not a voice, that seems to strike a chord with millions of frustrated and easily duped apple-pie-baking voters eager to take their country back. Her Washingtonian, cannot-tell-a-lie approach to corporate tax breaks might be more effective—and sexier—if she updates her Anita Bryant style with that of America’s favorite awkward heroine, Glee's Rachel Berry. The combination would be thrilling as millions of nascent gay Americans suddenly identify with her.

Newt Gingrich
Newt has had so many lives during his tenure in Washington that it’s almost impossible to summarize his style in just one way. Whether lobbying on behalf of Freddie Mac, holding firm to his conservative stance on stem cell research and reproductive rights, or having two dubious divorces, he quickly found a style icon in Benny Hill, or the Chucky doll from the CHILD’S PLAY franchise. However, this electoral season’s Newt is presenting a Dickensian take on child labor, and an apocalyptic vision for international diplomacy—he’s reintroducing the cold war fear of an “electromagnetic pulse” from nuclear bombs that would render technology useless and toss society back into the dark ages. Newt should look no further than fall’s latest blockbuster, IMMORTALS, and take cues from King Hyperion, war mask et al. Barbaric chic, really.

Mitt Romney
America’s favorite Mormon has the swagger of an old school crooner mixed with the negligible charisma of a used Cadillac salesman—or the son of an American Motors Corp CEO to be exact. Mitt had a tony upbringing, choosing to take his Mormon mission in France instead of, say, Africa or Asia. But it’s not the location as much as it is about the work. Some say he’s a shoo-in for the GOP nomination, but he’ll have to prove that he’s in touch with the average American. Betting his rival, Rick Perry, $10,000 to back up a claim kind of works against this notion. But if we were to style the presidential hopeful, he’s a natural fit for WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS' Bretton James. It’s hard to deny the attractiveness of a Windsor knot, collar stays, and pique lapels. Who says evil has to be ugly?

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