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Why does this year's election seem to be "a journey without a map"?
In 2016, the presidential election became electric.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have separately disrupted the fixed matchup of another Clinton and another Bush, and flat-footed, for now, the mainstream consensus about everything from who can be elected and what they can’t say, to what Americans want from both their leaders and their political process.
The Iowa caucus is days away, and what was laughable in the springtime now looks entirely plausible. Meaning upsets, betrayals, collapses and mis-coronations — all of which works well as pure drama.
Frank Rich is the perfect person to watch this shaggy-dog primary as a theater piece. At The New York Times, Rich began as a theater critic, then grew into the paper’s leading columnist who saw a mix of policy and performance, news and entertainment.
Today he practices both, with a column at New York Magazine and as executive producer of Veep, HBO’s fictional sendup of the very real pettiness, over-packaging and obscurity of our politics.
There’s more than a few irresistible storylines so far in this reality show of a primary process (and it’s still early).
columnist for New York Magazine, executive producer of HBO's Veep, and former theater critic and columnist for The New York Times.
professor of history at Boston College, author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party, and columnist for Salon.