I learnt a new word from Rick Santorum tonight: penumbra. It has a number of meanings:
- It is the part of a shadow where some or all of the light source is obscured.
- It is the grey area in law where a piece of legislation has no clearly defined meaning.
- It is the area around the brain where cells can be metabolically lethargic.
And, as we discovered at this evening’s New Hampshire Republican debate, a penumbra is also 4. the obscuration of an ill-defined, lethargic set of Republicans by the bright shiny star that is Mitt Romney.
Tonight’s debate was the most disappointing television event since Channel Four introduced the red triangle. With the moist, breathy tones more suited to the commentary on a soft-porn audio-book, host Diane Sawyer interrogated the candidates with the same vigour as a toothless dog sucking a Jaffa Cake.
Mitt Romney, his hands in his pockets to hide the FUCK and YOU tattoos on his knuckles, purred his answers as his co-candidates bickered and squabbled in the kind of cock-fight rarely seen outside of a lock-up in Enfield.
Questions and answers were rambling and obscure, ranging from …. actually I can’t remember, it was that boring. One of the answers, according my notes, involved infrastructure, capital gains, the business cycle, flat tax blah-di-blah. At one point Jon Huntsman made a comment in Mandarin. Ron Paul called Newt a draft-dodging chicken. And Rick Perry suggested re-invading Iraq. The remainder of my notes are made up of my shopping list and my Top Five Favourite Pairs of Knickers.
So there it is. Mitt has won and the others know it. I doubt this debate will change anyone’s mind in New Hampshire about how they will vote on Tuesday. More likely it will make people despise politicians even more than they already do.
And guess what? We have another debate tomorrow morning. And guess what? I’m not getting up for it.