Writers We Love: James Wolcott

Writers we love (h/t B.) When the blogoverse is running slow, and deadlines loom, with lines like "Fred Thompson still acts like an amused/bemused bystander, as if he's filling in for himself", James Wolcott in Vanity Fair is always good for 3rd down completions. His assessment of the Iowa Republican debates is no exception:

Seance on a Wet Afternoon-- It's like a men's club meeting in a funeral parlor, this Republican debate in Iowa, a row of dark suits forming a domino rank across the stage as they're quizzed by a strict schoolmarmish moderator who seems to have a stopwatch ticking inside her head. Her reluctance to lax the rules leads to some shows of resistance from the contestants, Fred Thompson refusing to raise his hand on the issue of global warming, perhaps because his arm is tired. The glossiest domino is Mitt Romney, of course, who does himself no favors by getting testily anal about how much time he's being alloted, though he's a portrait in deportment compared to Alan Keyes, who seems to have stored up a pissload of anger, resentment, and righteous petulance until the right camera opportunity came along for maximum martyred posturing. Fred Thompson still acts like an amused/bemused bystander, as if he's filling in for himself. Rudy Giuliani seems diminished by the format, rattling off his answers as if perforating a dartboard. ... read more...


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